Public Speaking Tips

Many people would rather jump out of an airplane or tackle Mount Everest than stand up in front of a group of people and give a speech! Yikes! But nervousness is natural. Even a very experienced professional speaker will get butterflies before an engagement. A lot of what you feel in this situation is simply the adrenaline of excitement. Still, the last thing you want is to be visibly trembling in front of your audience. There are very specific ways to calm yourself down and keep your nerves in check. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises are wonderful. But there is absolutely nothing that will calm your nerves faster than being prepared! You need to know your material so well that you can speak about it off the top of your head sideways and upside down. In fact, it's great if you know the material well enough to recite it, as long as you don't actually recite it. Just know it well enough that it's completely ingrained in your mind. You'll feel so confident that you'll sound absolutely natural. You'll be able handle anything unexpected that comes your way, and you'll be able to answer any questions and speak to you audience as if they're old friends. Practice In Front of Others Preparation isn't limited to your knowledge of your subject, however. You need to feel just as confident about the way you present yourself. This means practice, practice, and more practice - and not just in the shower or in front of the mirror. Practicing in front of a mirror can be helpful to start, but it gives you no idea how you'll feel when someone else is in the room. Start out by practicing for your spouse or a friend. Then, get a group of people together, and make a video of your performance. Ask your friends to bring their friends, and give your speech a try with some strangers present. Ask your guests to tell you what they think of your abilities, and ask them to be honest. Most importantly, ask them to tell you how they felt while you were speaking. Did they stay interested? If not, when did their minds wander? Did you inspire them? If it's more comfortable for everyone, you can ask your guests to write down their thoughts anonymously. Watch the videotape, and make whatever adjustments you need in order to improve your performance. Better yet, hire a professional coach to give you public speaking training. You don't have to be perfect, but a true professional speaker never stops making improvements. Follow These Public Speaking Tips In the meantime, here are some very helpful public speaking tips that every good public speaker knows! 1. Check out the room ahead of time to make sure you know where everything is located, how the microphone works, and how loud you will need to speak to be heard in the back of the room. 2. Keep a timer of some kind available so that you will know when your time is up. Whatever you do, don't look at your watch. Your audience will think you'd rather be somewhere else! 3. If you make an error, don't make a big deal of it. Just keep going. Your audience will feel relieved to know you're just as human as they are. 4. A great way to alleviate nerves is to make eye contact with specific people in the audience. If one person gives you a blank stare, move on to someone more receptive. 5. Wear appropriate clothes that show your personality, and most importantly, that feel comfortable! Nothing is worse than discomfort due to tight or scratchy clothes. And if your shoes will show beneath a podium, wear nice ones! For women, it may be best to wear a pantsuit. Bare legs can be a distraction. Public speaking can be very rewarding. If you want to do it, all you need to do is learn the ropes and believe in yourself!