One can define public speaking as “the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners.” It is a powerful tool used for motivating, influencing, persuading, informing, translating to, or simply entertaining the audience. Public speaking is also one of the human race’s greatest fears. The very thought of forgetting the lines or saying something entirely wrong boils down to the fear of being publicly ridiculed, rejected and humiliated. To a certain extent, feeling nervous before giving a speech is natural, but too much of the same can prove to be detrimental. Given below are some tips to control your butterflies and help you give better presentations. These tips will help make the art of public speaking less stressful and create a more relaxed and confident you.
Tips For Speaking In Public
Know Your Material
The first step towards mastering public speaking is choosing a topic of your interest. Include humor and personal stories in your speech and use a conversational language. This will help you remember what to say. Gather more information about the topic than what you are including in the speech.
Arrange all the equipment that you would be using and rehearse out loud. Practice while taking breaks. Set a timer and allow time for the unexpected. You can get a family member or friend to observe your rehearsal and give a constructive feedback. Practice many times, to attain the right flow and comfort level.
Explore The Audience
Most people overlook this strategy. It is important to know about the group you would be talking to, as it can help you tailor what you will be speaking. You can start with greeting some of the members when they enter. Ease yourself by speaking to a group of friends, rather than strangers.
Get Acquainted With The Venue
The day you have to indulge in public speaking, arrive at the location early and walk around the speaking area. Practice using the microphone and other visual aids. This will make you feel more confident.
Begin your speech by addressing the audience, as this will give you time to calm your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. Transform your nervous energy into enthusiasm.
Imagine yourself speaking loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping and agreeing to what you are saying. This will surely give a boost to your confidence. Remember, the audience always wants its speakers to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining.
Do Not Apologize
In case you have committed a mistake, do not apologize for any nervousness or problem. It might be possible that the audience hasn’t even noticed it, so let it go off. Do not make people criticize you, by your own doing.
Concentrate On The Message
Divert your attention from your own anxieties to your message and audience. Stay focused on your material and consider the audience as your friend. This will help make you successful.
Your speech should characterize you as an authority as well as an individual. In this context, experience will help you build confidence, which is the key to effective public speaking as well.