Public speaking is rarely at the top of anyone’s list of favorite activities! Some people love every minute of it and others dread the very thought of addressing a group. If you are reading this, you are most likely in the latter category, and that’s totally fine! Speaking publicly should not freak you out. You don’t have to like it, but it’s nothing to fear. Here are some quick tips to help you nail your next public appearance!
1.Build your Confidence
One of the keys to effective public speaking is to become more confident. You must believe that you are good at what you do! To achieve that, you need to be prepared by properly researching about the topic you are going to talk about. If you are well-versed on the topic, you will be able to flow through the information with ease.
I like to imagine that I am sharing the information one-on-one. It’s just myself and a colleague having a chat about a topic. I am the expert and he or she is trying to learn from me. It helps me to form the speech into a logical format that most people can follow. Also, when you know the material, you less likely to say “um” and “uh.” Once I know I am confident that I know the information, I start to practice!
2. Look at Yourself in the Mirror
If you want to improve your public speaking skills, then you should practice in front of the mirror. By doing this, you would be able to see how you look while delivering the message. With that, you can see whether you need to improve your stance, the way you open your mouth, the expression of your eyes, and such. Personally, I don’t like looking in the mirror while speaking, but I do it for the above benefits. I am much more of a “pacer” when I practice. I have worn the carpet thin in plenty of hotel rooms reciting a five-minute address.
3. Listen to Yourself
Practicing public speaking can go a long way, as far as giving your audience a pleasant visual experience. However, you should also listen to your voice. Practicing your speech countless times can help. But, it would be better if you can record your voice, and listen to it, so that you can really hear how your voice sounds to your audience. There is no need to run out and buy an expensive voice recorder. Your smartphone will do just fine!
4. Practice Memorization Skills
Sharpening your mind can help you with public speaking. This is because, in most cases, when you must present something in front of an audience, you have prepared a script for it. Improving your memorization skills can be done by playing more mind games, or by simply reading books and trying to memorize a few paragraphs in it. Now, I am not advocating memorizing our entire speech then parroting it back like a robot. At the very least, you can memorize the structure and outline. That way, you can visualize the flow as you speak.
5. Improve Your Looks
Always keep in mind that when you speak in public, people would be looking at you. Although most people would not care much about what you wear, or how you are wearing your hair, it is still best to make it a point to look at your best. By wearing something that you know you would look good in, you would become more confident, which can give you a good start in speaking.
It’s best to keep your outfit tasteful and neutral. Wearing something provocative or over-the-top will distract your audience from the message. Another great invention that will help you is called an iron! Don’t get up in front of a group of people looking like you just rolled out of a hay loft! Take pride in your appearance and it will show!!
Now you are ready to take over the world! Well, maybe not quite, but at least you have some tools to help you feel more at ease during your next public speech. The more you practice and perform actual speaking engagements, the more comfortable and confident you will feel. As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t conquered in a day.” I will take time to hone this skill, but the benefits can be reaped for years to come!