The average person generally ranks the fear of public speaking as compared to the fear of death. The plain truth is that the fear could hurt your personal and professional life.
You might have been there before. You feel nervous, the palms sweat, and the stomach ties itself in knots. You do not want to do it. In fact, you usually feel that you would rather do anything else instead of talking to someone.
If you tremble whenever you think of giving any speech, you are not alone. It is normal. A lot of people usually develop fear whenever they think about public speaking. However, there are certain tips that you can help you learn to speak eloquently in public. Follow these tips if you need help!
Preparation Is Key
You want the speech to flow naturally and that will not happen if you do not take enough time preparing for it. This is not a very easy goal but it can always be done. Start by setting aside some time so as to put together your speech. You should then move on by jotting down the points that you want to pass across to the audience. You should then arrange the points logically so that they will flow naturally. After this, you may mix in certain things to hold the audience to your attention: illustrations, stories and props such as videos and images in your slideshow. By taking down notes, you will make way for the talk to be memorized into your head. You should also strengthen the speech by researching your topic and doing your due diligence.
Know Your Audience
At this point, you should know thoroughly what you’re going to speak about. However, getting the points across to the audience is yet another story. Firstly, you have to know who will be listening as you speak. In short, you should know your audience well. Find ways for you to get acquainted with the listeners. You should aim to be intimate with the listeners. Dig up their wants, aches, eccentricities and pet peeves. What are their interests? What do they want to hear, learn or even talk about? You should be aware of their age brackets. Demographics are an integral part in discovering your listeners. You do not need formal surveys so as to get the information. Just interact with your audience in the first 5 minutes of the talk.
Be An Expert On Your Topic
Let’s say you are giving a talk on romance and love. Just think about your love life. What are the romantic experiences you’ve had? Alternatively, think of the lessons that you have learned from love stories of your friends or family or even ones you’ve heard about. You should then use these lessons in jazzing up your talk.
You can also research about love itself and its captivating, countless definitions across borders and cultures. Study them and then look at whatever interests you most. Pick the instances in your life and then connect them precisely to the definitions that you studied. Try turning yourself into a love expert before you stand on the podium to speak. When the spotlight finally hits you, you will be ready to give your speech with confidence, authority and eloquence.
Accentuate The Positive
What type of public speaker are you? In order to be more effective, you need to identify your style. You should get in touch with all your weaknesses and strengths as a speaker and then zero in on whatever you do best. Are you a great storyteller? Or do you have a good sense of humor? Perhaps you are someone who usually teaches well; a person who can break down the concepts and then explain complex ideas to simple facts. After thorough analysis, you should pick your best style and then focus to deliver your talk in your own style. By doing so, you can shine just like a star.
Get Comfortable With the Environment
Go check the events venue where you will speak. You should then acquaint yourself with that given place. Furthermore, you also ought to know its size. By knowing the area dimensions, you will be capable of preparing your movements wisely.
The venue measurements are directly proportional to your movements and gestures. Big places usually require wide movements and big gestures. Small spaces usually demand the opposite. In big halls, you will need to plan so as to have wide body movements and big hand gestures or else you fail in engaging your audience. In case the venue is small just like a high school classroom, you should then adjust accordingly. In small spaces, rolling the eyes will catch the people’s attention. A half smile can even emphasize a point.
Visualize Your Audience Naked
Fear of speaking in public is related to fear of criticism. The fear of criticism is also related to fear of non-acceptance and people’s opinions. You will not beat this fear easily. However, you can try this: Imagine that you are talking to a group of individuals who are wearing nothing! It’s weirdly funny and it’s exactly the point! Just visualize the scene. Once you feel that your sudience are on the same level of awkwardness as you, you’ll be able to sing your speech to them!
Pay Attention To Your Appearance
Do not overlook a vital confidence booster during the day of that speech: your attire.
Make sure that you are groomed well and you’re also looking crisp in your preferred outfit. Whenever you look great, you also feel great. Alternatively, in case you prefer having a casual look and it is appropriate for the event, then you should go for that non-formal appearance. It will certainly make you to feel more comfortable as well as more engaging to the equally casual audience. Most audiences will initially judge your skills based on looks. As a result, make the extra effort of dressing well so as to command confidence and respect.
Psyche Yourself Up
What’s the worst thing which could happen when you stand up and give a talk before a large crowd? You may be embarrassed and booed, but unless you are speaking about delicate political issues, which are very unlikely, that is the absolute worst thing that could happen. There’s no person who will take you to court just for giving a speech in front of a big crowd.
However, in case you prepare properly, you will never be embarrassed. Just convince yourself of this: You will prepare studiously and thoroughly, and you will be able to deliver an engaging talk.
Practice Like Your Life Depends On It
For the time that you are on the podium while speaking, your life totally depends on how you practiced and prepared. In case you mess up, the audience shall remember you for that reason. That is enough reason for practicing. You can record a video as you practice your speech and also study your weaknesses and strengths. Pinpoint the times when you hesitate by using words “like”, “aaah” or “ummm” and then do your best so as to eliminate them.
When you record yourself, you will also notice if you speak too slow or too fast. Adjust the talking speed so that the audience gets the most out of your presentations. Reviewing your talk on video is also one way of checking if you have the tendency of speaking in monotone. In case you do so, make a point to vary the tone. Remember, practice always leads to perfection.
Sourced from: lifehacker
Photo: Thinkstock/Digital Vision.