If the thought of making a speech in front of an audience makes your palms sweat, then reassure yourself with the fact that you are not the only one who feels like this. Many people experience public speaking anxiety making it one of the most common types of anxiety today. Scroll down and consider these practical public speaking tips to improve your next presentation or speech that you give to a group.
- Patience and Practice
It is entirely okay to feel heart-pounding and trembling hands. These signs do not tell you that you will perform poorly or make a complete fool of yourself. The adrenaline rush that makes your sweat makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance. The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare a lot. Revise your notes thoroughly before going up on the stage. Familiarize yourself with the content of the presentation or speech. Videotape yourself, or ask a friend to evaluate your performance.
- Know Your Audience
While making your speech or presentation, it is essential to consider the intended audience. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. It will help you determine the level of information, choice of words, and motivational statement or ice-breaking activities.
- Work on Delivering Your Speech
The style of making your speech is essential when doing public speaking. The audience likes to hear and understand the content you share with them. Cut out the filler words like “um” or “uh”; they can reduce the concentration level of your audience. Try speaking slowly and enunciate so that your words can be heard clearly. Include occasional pauses to give the audience a moment to think. A good pause can be handy just when you have made a point or asked something.
- Effective Body Language
In public speaking, body language can support your presentation through non-verbal communication. Keep your spine straight and your shoulders back with a gentle smile. You can calmly move around the stage to maintain the flow of speech. Standing behind the tables or podium can be avoided. In case you are at a dice, you can angle your head and body towards different sections of the audience while delivering your speech. Your overall energy and facial expression should match what you are saying. You want to project an energetic and pleasant outlook for more professional presentations.
- Grab Attention of Your Audience
A monotonous topic can become interesting when delivered the right way. Look for ways to make your presentation more engaging for the people listening. Start with a surprising opening or a funny anecdote. You may want to open your presentation with your introduction in a more formal setup. Include any personal, funny story (related to the topic) or a joke (nothing offensive) to inject humor into the presentation.
Utilize these skills to master the art of public speaking. It can only be achieved through practice. Always plan out what you want to say in advance and read it repeatedly. Make yourself familiar with the content; it reduces your chance of fumbling or forgetting speech.