There comes a time in most people’s lives when they will need to get up front of people and address them. You could be the best man at someone’s wedding, you could be giving a presentation at work or even delivering a project at university, whatever the event, public speaking is something that scares a lot of people.
Public speaking isn’t as scary as it first appears, the key is confidence, preparation and strategy. If you hate the idea of public speaking but want to arm yourself with the knowledge for how you can do so without fear then here are some top tips on how to approach it.
Write it Down
The very best public speakers can stand up and give a speech on the fly, don’t think that you have the ability to do this just yet and make sure that you write your speech down. Once you have the speech written then you need to read it until you have it cemented into your brain.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have your speech written it will be important that you practice relentlessly until you have the flow and the style of the piece just right. In order to feel confident when speaking, you need to be safe in the knowledge that you know exactly what you are going to say and more importantly, how. A great tip is to video yourself giving your speech, this way you can watch it back and see the key areas that you need to improve.
One of the keys to great public speaking is how you use your body whilst delivering the speech. You should have strong and upright posture and try to open up your arms, this will help you look commanding and also help you to breathe better. Usage of hands is very important to drive points home and engage the audience better and you should try to walk around whilst you are speaking to help calm the nerves and give a confident impression.
Trying to be something that you are not when speaking in front of people will do nothing but make you more nervous. It is important that to properly engage the audience that you let your character shine through, speak in your natural voice and don’t be frightened to crack a joke or two.
Big Start, Explosive Finish
It is important that when you are speaking that you enter with a bang, make a key point, a funny joke, a loud entrance or a shocking remark, this will immediately gain the attention of those to whom you are speaking. As the speech goes on, some people may drift off and often you cannot help this. What you can do however is ensure that you finish on a high, this will be the last thing that people remember and it will be the best way to reinforce what you have said throughout your speech.
Try to relax and try to turn public speaking into something enjoyable, you will be just fine.