Are you searching for advice on how to be a confident public speaker? You'll have more luck if you know the basics, like being always prepared and strengthening your presentation. Learn how to overcome the fear of speaking in public. These 4 easy tips will get you started in no time.
While some people seem to have a natural propensity for public speaking, no one is exempt from nervousness. What can you do? There are specific action steps you can take to help alleviate your nerves, even if you've never stood in front of a group of people before. Here are 4 ways to be a confident public speaker.
1Always Be Prepared
The best thing to do to help you overcome your fear of speaking is to be prepared! Once you know your material and have your speech ready, you're ready to prepare for the final part – speaking. Having a well-practiced speech will give you confidence. You're the expert on this material, after all, or you wouldn't be speaking in the first place.
Practice making your presentation, so you can get into a rhythm and know how the presentation will flow. Say your speech aloud to practice difficult words or names and to time yourself. If you have other presenters, practice as a group and be open to feedback from others. Practice using any slides or Powerpoint presentations you've included in your speech.
2Strengthen Your Presentation
There are simple things you can do to make your speech go from ordinary to extraordinary. Making eye contact, pausing at certain points, and having visual aids are things that will bring your speech up a notch. Learning these things ahead of time and including them in your practice sessions will alleviate some nerves.
Find one or two things to focus on the first time you speak. Very few people make the perfect speech every time. The key is to learn from each presentation to make future speeches even better.
3Be Proud Of Doing Your Best
Keep in mind that everyone who speaks gets nervous ahead of time, some more so than others. Once you consider you aren't alone in your feelings, it makes it easier to deal with them. Ask advice from a mentor or someone who is more experienced in public speaking and learn from their mistakes.
Refrain from comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone better and someone worse than you. Just do your personal best and be happy that you've given it your all.
4Practice Speaking In Public
If you're going to be frequently speaking, you can find ways to get more practice. Take a class on public speaking or volunteer at a community organization. The more you practice, the better you'll get. If you care about animals, kids, or social issues, there are many venues for you to speak; find a local club or school and volunteer your time.
Start small by practicing speaking in a classroom full of children first. Read aloud during religious services at your place of worship. If you have a favorite hobby, volunteer to teach a class about that hobby at your local library.
Don't worry about how perfect your speech is. In six months, it won't matter. What will matter is that you've done your best, improved, and possibly inspired one person with your words. That's what it's all about, anyway.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."