Every human being has a monster lurking inside which raises its ugly head when situations need you to be strong and confident especially in situations like that arise during public speaking. You can tame that monster and tell him to go only if you are armed with the appropriate tools. The tools are of your own making. Being confident, practicing public speaking and displaying the correct body language in public speaking are three tools that will certainly frighten him away. You need to work on those tools to overcome the fears associated with public speaking and that is the reason we have some top public speaking tips for you.
A very important question that you should put to yourself is why are you giving this speech or presentation? Once you get a clear answer you get the base to begin your work. In case you are still unsure, try not to give the speech or presentation since your words would not have the desired effect on the audience.
Well! not literally but it would be a good idea to imagine yourself sitting there as this will give you a good idea as to what you as an audience would want to know and hear and what would impress you. To really get the attention of the audience and hold it would be an excellent idea to get an idea of what would really cause a lasting impression on you.
A crucial question that you need to ask yourself is how long you plan to speak. Since shorter speeches are always better try and stop talking before the audience’s concentration is lost. Try and set a target and then begin writing your speech. Do so using the correct words and summarize and edit your ideas in such a way that less time is consumed.
If you have something new to say half the work is already done, if you don’t then try and find a new point of view on something familiar. Once your ideas are ready prioritize them. With the ideas at hand try and estimate the time it would take you to speak about each idea. Drop the ideas you think are not important and are just taking up precious time. With the ideas in hand now begin work on the structure which may be either chronological, building to a conclusion or supporting challenging a claim. Pay plenty of attention on the opening and closing since the opening gets their attention while the closing is the impression you leave in their minds.
If you are uncomfortable without your notes you can always keep them with you. Write your notes on small sheets of paper and use index cards with bullet points since they are easier to read. If you have direct quotes write them in full and read them out if you want to, if you don’t and have already learnt them by heart use the notes only as prompts.
Relaxation during public speaking is very important so always have your speech and visual aids ready much before the big day arrives. Use slides but avoid reading word for word. Never use full sentences in slides unless of course the situation demands it. Make the use of diagrams and picture to talk about key points, since they are more appealing visually.
Getting rid of stage fright is possible if you practice your presentation much before you actually stand in front of the audience. Stand in front of the mirror or a video camera and read out your presentation. Better still ask someone you trust to listen and provide any feedback. Another option would be to get a professional coach as they can provide expert advice and inspiration. This way you will be raring to go when the final day dawns. One step to overcoming public speaking fears is to remain calm and composed, to do so take a few deep breaths before you begin. Make the use of pauses to compose yourself as well as provide the audience with some time for the message to sink in.
Your body language and the way you speak will display how much you feel connected to what you are saying. So, be delighted and excited to have the opportunity to display your skills. To add interest and keep the audience enthused you can use personal stories, anecdotes and even humor in public speaking. Speak up, make frequent contact with the audience and watch the day and your fears just melt away. If you are passionate about what you do and say, believe me people will sit up and take notice.