There’s no doubt, it takes guts to stand up in front of a group of people and speak. For most people, public speaking is a nerve-wracking endeavor. After reading our tips, we hope you won’t feel quite so intimidated by public speaking.
The most important rule for public speaking is preparation. When you write your speech, rehearse in the mirror, in the shower, in the car, or in front of friends. The more you know your material, the more likely you will succeed under pressure.
2. Arrive early
On the day of your presentation, showing up early is crucial. You won’t be rushing, so you will eliminate any extra unnecessary stress. You will have a chance to relax, clear your mind, take a look at the speaking set-up, test out the microphone, and so on.
3. Use an outline
It’s okay to practice from a script, but you should only bring an outline with you to the real deal. The outline will serve as a map to your presentation, ensuring that you never get lost. When you have a script, there’s a chance you’ll lose your place or accidentally read from it without engaging eye contact with your audience.
4. Channel fear into confidence
It’s completely normal to be nervous for public speaking. Here’s the thing about nervousness: it generates the same physical responses as excitement (sweating, trembling, fast heart rate, etc). When you think about your jitters in this way, you can reframe that anxiety into enthusiasm for your speech.
5. Give yourself 30 seconds
Another thing about physical symptoms of nervousness: your body will only be stressed out for about 30 seconds into the speech. Once your body recognizes that you are not in any danger and everything will be okay, your body will calm down. This can be a useful fact to know when you have a long speech to give. All you have to do is make it through the first 30 seconds of public speaking.
6. Know your audience
Depending on your situation and the purpose of your presentation, you may want to include visual aids or incorporate humorous anecdotes. Know who you’re talking to, and brainstorm ways to engage your audience.
7. Visualize success
Ah, the power of manifestation. Close your eyes, and imagine yourself delivering a brilliant speech. Do not focus on the things that could go wrong. Even if something does go awry, it will not be the end of the world. You will learn and adapt from that experience. Everyone knows that public speaking is challenging, so no one is going to judge harshly if you mess up in any way.
Talking to other people and communicating your ideas is a skill that will serve you well in the long run. Even if you struggle in this moment with public speaking, the more you do it, the less of a burden it will be in the future. As you can see, public speaking is a skill worth your time and energy. Learn about other transferable skills here!