Public speaking is one of the most universal fears. Most people do not like having to speak before an audience of strangers or colleagues. Even, some people with repeat public speaking exposure feel nervous or anxious before new audience or at new places. But the tips below can help you conquer that fear. So keep reading, put these tips into action and practice every day. Your confidence and speaking skills will soar!
It is very important that you display enthusiasm when you are speaking publicly. There is no way that you will get others excited about a topic if it seems like you are bored with it. If the topic is one that is a bit more emotionally driven, you have to show them that you care.
Supportive Dressing & Shoes
Make sure you wear a supportive dress and pair of shoes when you do public speaking. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense on stage from feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly.
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Know your surroundings
Know your surroundings. Take a few moments when you arrive to acquaint yourself with your surroundings. If you can arrive early, go to the podium and do a soundcheck before your audience arrives. If you have visual aids, practice using them while you are orientating yourself with your surroundings.
Do not use a laser pointer
Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
If public speaking makes you anxious, practice doing deep breathing. Deep breaths that are taken slowly in and out can calm you. Use a count of four to breathe through the nose, and then a five count to breathe through the mouth. Do this approximately five times to feel a positive difference in how calm you feel.
Practice makes you perfect
The more public speaking you do, the more comfortable you will become. To help you gain the experience you need, offer to go to your local high school to share your knowledge with others. Most teachers are happy to have executives visit their class to give their students a chance to hear about different careers.
Research your topic
If you are asked to speak about an unfamiliar subject, be sure to make the most of your research time. Study a wide variety of texts, videos and actual examples of your topic. Talk with people who know about it. When you speak, you can choose to talk about your research and share what you have learned rather than attempting to present yourself as an actual expert.
Do not look casual or non-professional
Do not chew gum or eat when you are making a speech. The chewing is unprofessional and distracts your audience. It is permissible to sip from a glass of water occasionally so that your throat does not get dry. Keep that to a minimum too, as it serves as a distraction from your message.
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Take inspiration from experts
Whether you are new to public speaking or it is something you have done dozens of times, watching videos of the pro can be helpful. Viewing them allows you to see what the experts do and say to engage their audience. You can then try using these techniques when you give your next speech.
Talk fresh & interesting things
If you must do a lot of extemporaneous speaking, be sure to keep up on current events and topics of interest. In this way, you will always have something new and interesting to say. Remember that it is usually best to choose a complimentary approach rather than a humorous one unless you are extremely sure of your ability to amuse people!
Eye contact & Engagement
Eye contact is critical during public speaking engagements. Although you may not be able to make eye contact with every member of a large audience, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Before your speech, identify key members of the audience and their assigned seating, if possible. This enables you to make the greatest impact on the most important audience members.
Be Loud & Clear
If your audience will be a large one, make sure your voice is clear and strong. Have some water handy. Steer clear of soda and dairy beverages before your speech. These fluids are saliva-thickening and can even encourage mucous production. A caffeine free tea will ease your tension and relax your voice.
Believe in yourself
Believe in yourself. If you think you will do well, you are more likely to do well. If you think you will fall flat on your face, that is something that is more likely to occur. Try to banish negative thoughts from your mind and envision yourself delivering a perfect speech.
As you see above, there are many ways to deal with the fear of public speaking. You should look at the tips from above and find the ones that are suited to the aspect that drives your fear of public speaking. So keep these tips in mind, practice as often as you can and reap the success.