If you’re someone who gets nervous at the thought of speaking in front of a crowd, you’re not alone. In fact, public speaking is one of the most common fears people have. But there are some things you can do to conquer that fear. Here are 10 sure-fire steps to help you get over your nerves and deliver a great speech.
1. Understand why you’re afraid.
2. Find a role model.
3. Know your material inside and out.
4. Practice, practice, practice.
5. Visualize success.
6. Be prepared for anything.
7. Focus on your audience, not yourself.
8.Address your fears head-on.
9 Take deep breaths and relax your body 10 Believe in yourself
Public speaking is still one of the most common fears, turning even the most confident men and women into anxious wrecks. Just the thought of having to speak in front of an audience can cause our tongue to go dry, our stomach to churn, and our knees to turn to jelly.
Fortunately, there’s no need to fear public speaking anymore. All you need to remember are your P’s and Q’s. Let’s start with the P’s.
1. Importance Of Preparation
Before you start writing your speech, think about your audience. Will they understand what you’re talking about, or will they need explanations for the technical terms and jargon? If you’re not sure, remember the old saying: “Keep it simple, stupid.”
When you’re writing your speech, think about who you’ll be speaking to and whether or not they’ll understand the content. If you’re unsure, remember the old saying “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Structure your speech so that it has a beginning, middle, and end. People think visually, so use language to paint a picture for your audience. And always remember to tell your audience what’s in it for them!
2. Knowing About Place
Before the event, try to visit the venue if you have time. If not, arrive at least half an hour early to scope out the space and get a feel for where you’ll be speaking. Stand in the spot where you’ll be presenting, and imagine where the audience will be. Make sure they’ll be able to see and hear you clearly from that spot. You may also want to place a glass of water nearby so you can stay hydrated during your presentation.
3. Prefer to Personal Preparation:
Before any public speaking event, think about what you are going to wear. When in doubt, dress up rather than down. You can always take things off for a more casual look. Men could remove their jacket and tie. Women could remove items of jewelry.
Part of your personal preparation should include some mouth and breathing exercises. Practice saying some tongue twisters to give your speaking muscles a good workout. Take a deep breath and expand your diaphragm. Then breathe out, counting at the same time; try to get up to fifty and not pass out.
One important way to prepare for an introduction is by writing your own. Write out exactly what you want the person introducing you to say about you. This way, you can be sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. Not only will the person introducing you be pleased and impressed, but you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the moment, knowing that you’ve already set the tone for how you want to be presented.
4. Keep Good Poise and Posture –
Make a Good First Impression by Poised and Posture –
Whenever you’re called to speak, stand up swiftly and with purpose. Pull yourself up to your full height, stand tall and look confident. Before you start to speak, pause, look around your audience and smile. You may even have to wait until the applause dies down. Remember, you want the audience to like you, so appear likeable.
5. Don’t be Pretended
Nervousness is normal and even necessary when speaking in public. It gives you adrenaline which makes your mind sharper and provides you with energy. The key is to not show your nerves to the audience. If they think you’re about to faint, it’ll only scare them more.
6. Key tricks for dealing with nerves are:
Here are some tips for dealing with nerves before speaking:
– Get lots of oxygen into your system by running on the spot or waving your arms around like a lunatic. This will help burn off the stress chemicals in your body.
– Talk to members of your audience as they come in or at some time before you stand up. This will trick your brain into thinking you’re talking to some friends.
– Have a glass of water handy for that dry mouth. One word of warning – do not drink alcohol. It might give you Dutch courage but your audience will end up thinking you’re speaking Dutch.
7. Perfect Presentation –
From the beginning, your presentation needs to be engaging in order to grab your audience’s attention. Instead of starting with, “Good morning, my name is Fred Smith and I’m from Smith Associates,” try starting with an interesting fact or a relevant story. This will be much more engaging than simply stating your name and where you work. Additionally, look at the audience as individuals; speaking to them directly will help keep their attention. Finally, make sure to talk louder than you would normally. This will help keep people in the front row awake and ensure that the back row can hear you.
8. Being Passionate
Passion is key when it comes to public speaking – it’s what will stop your audience in their tracks and make them want to listen to what you have to say. When you’re passionate about your presentation, it shows in your energy and enthusiasm, which in turn moves the audience to take action. So if you’re not the “over-the-top” type, that’s okay. Just remember that a presentation is different from a casual conversation, so you’ll need to put a little more oomph into it than you might be used to.
9. Ask questions
When you’re giving a presentation, it’s best to decide when you’re going to take questions from the audience. Tell people at the start of the presentation that you’ll be taking questions at the end. This way, you won’t get sidetracked and your timing won’t be thrown off.
Never finish with questions. It’s always better to ask for questions five or ten minutes before the end of the presentation. This way, you can deal with the questions and then summarize for a strong finish. Too many presentations end on questions and the whole thing falls flat.
When you’re asked a question, repeat it to the whole audience and thank the questioner. This will keep everyone involved in the presentation.
10. Do not stretch the conclusion in communication.
Quit early – one of the best ways to make a lasting impression on your audience is to finish earlier than expected. This shows that you are confident in your abilities as a speaker and that you are respectful of your audience’s time. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.
One of the most famous speeches ever – “The Gettysburg Address”, by President Lincoln, was just over two minutes long.
This is my cue to finish early. Now that you’re armed with this information, you too can minimize your fear of public speaking.