According to a survey once conducted by the Wall Street Journal, the best fear among American citizens was not Melbourne Bat Removal being scared of clowns, getting run over by a car, loneliness or even death, but public speaking. Can you understand how nerve-wracking the experience must be for someone who has an inkling they may need to speak before an audience which they prefer DEATH over it? Stage fright is a reality, if you have to deliver a speech in public, engage in a group discussion, or give a presentation. There are not many men and women with the gift of the gab and indeed, there are visionaries like Elon Musk who stammer throughout their presentations so you can imagine how easy it is for an average person to break into a sweat the moment they must speak in public. Near nervous breakdown. These thoughts and feelings surround us like an impenetrable cocoon, pulling our confidence down to a nadir.
However, through continuous practice and learning, one can eventually learn to deliver an effective public speech. Whether your talking skills are average or below , here are 7 powerful tips that will immensely help you in improving your public speaking skills:
Among the main sections of public speaking is to know your audience. Are you presenting your speech to a novice audience or a group of highly experienced people? Will you be talking to a local group or overseas guests? Prepare your content accordingly so the audience remains engaged and take cognizance of geographical and cultural biases. As an example, it does not behoove nicely to create clichéd Rajnikanth jokes in front of an audience comprised of people from Tamil Nadu. A rigid reaction will throw you off track and make the situation uncomfortable for both you and the audience you are addressing.
Boost your self-confidence with some pep talk
If you suffer from speech anxiety then you tend to take rapid and shallow breathes, which only aggravates the physical and mental stress as soon as you arrive at the stage. Learning proper breathing techniques is a must to improve your public speaking skills, with the diaphragmatic breathing exercise being the most recommended by experts. Additionally, just before your speech, you should take deep breathes because they act as a great stress alleviator. Giving yourself a brief pep talk is also a wonderful way to calm your jitters. Say stuff like this to yourself:
I have done it before” (if it is not your first time on the stage)
“This is about them, not me”
3. It’s okay to be nervous
It is human nature to be nervous. Even the most seasoned speakers have shown that they feel a tinge of nervousness whenever they move on stage. One way to reduce the jitters is to talk to a close relative or friend before you go live. Another powerful solution is to start your speech in a casual manner and break the ice with a joke. Don’t be intimated by all of the eyes staring at you. Bear in mind, the majority of them would give their kidney than be up there in your location.
4. Give mock speeches and ask for honest critiques
This step is to be done at least a couple of weeks before the D-day. Giving mock speeches in front of your loved ones or friends, and if possible, an unknown test audience (if you can manage that) is a really effective method to improve your public speaking skills. You will get familiarized with the experience and can receive honest critiques regarding the gaps in your speech or body language. This will ensure that the final result is as error-free as possible.
5. Make your address crisp and to the point
Don’t beat around the bush so that your audience loses interest and even you lose track of what the speech was about. Make your speech crisp, interesting and on point. Do not use plenty of verbiage. Use audio-visual tools to make the audience more involved. Do not forget to entertain any question on this issue, which you should be well-versed with! You can also do a Q&A session after the speech ends, because that’s how it goes, but
It is an axiomatic truth that body language is a major part of communication skills. Having a poor body language e.g. pacing up and down nervously, making a lot of hand movements or awkward gestures, obtaining a slouched posture et al significantly impacts your public speaking experience. To avoid this, you should practice before a mirror, get a friend or family member to record your address during a mock session, and review what all mistakes you’re making. Are you making too many hand movements? Are you hiding your nervousness by going around too much? Go through an entire checklist of body language tips for public speaking so that you don’t end up as a nervous wreck.
7. Do not worry about negative evaluation. Keep practicing.
There’s rarely anyone who will deliver extempore in his or her first speech ever. Not every individual has the eloquence of say, Barack Obama, or the assurance of Nick Vujicic. Most folks fear being negatively evaluated by the audience or failing to talk the way they meant to. This can lead to abject anxiety and anxiety, and might even put you off from public speaking forever, so as to not get embarrassed again. But the only way forward is to take things in stride and learn from whatever mistakes you made. Going on the stage repeatedly will ultimately improve your confidence manifold and you will eventually end up becoming a professional speaker with time.