Share this post
There may come a time when you will need to speak in front of your team, your entire company or even outside of your organisation. Doing so can present a tremendous professional opportunity, but it can come at a price, particularly if public speaking is not your forte or you are an introvert.
With just a few simple tips, you can come across as confident and professional. Don’t believe me? Just try these out for yourself!
Hint: it all comes down to preparation.
After you have taken the time to write your speech or presentation, it will be necessary to practice it for comprehension, pacing and clarity.
If you are new to the public speaking world, you will have no idea what you look and sound like when you give a speech. This is where a video camera can come in handy. Try recording yourself and watching it back, regardless of how cringe-worthy your performance may be. In most cases, it won’t be as bad as you think. Once done, you have a base platform from which to improve.
This is where you can take note of the pacing and the volume, paying attention to the parts of the speech where you seem to rush or stumble through. Once you have done this once, then go back and repeat the process a second time.
Smiling throughout will make a huge difference and help you connect more personally with the audience.
Fear of public speaking or glossophobia, as it is called, is extremely common and it can restrict your body and create all sorts of unnecessary tension. To ensure a successful speaking event, make sure you stretch your body to reduce any knots of tension that may be inhibiting your body movements or breathing.
Warm up your facial muscles by scrunching and chewing in an exaggerated manner. Bend down and touch your toes and do some shoulder and neck rolls to release the tension. Shake your hands so your movements appear more natural. I love to use Amy Cuddy’s power poses before I speak in front of a crowd. Here is a short link to some poses that you can take advantage of – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4ACeoqEjeA.
It may sound simple, but it can make all the difference between a good speech and a great one.
To look and sound the part, you also need to have a little bit of self-belief tucked in your pocket. While you are standing tall, think yourself tall. Feeling cool, calm and collected, or as close to it as possible, will help the process along.
If possible, try to find a quiet place and relax before you venture out on the stage. Also try and arrange to visit the space where you will be presenting to get a feel for the room before you begin.
Always remember that the speech is not being presented for your benefit, but for your audience. At the end of the day, once you are mentally, physically and vocally prepared, there is not much you can do except make the most of the experience.
Our eCourse on Public Speaking has plenty more additional tips and tricks to boost your public speaking skills and knock that self-doubt and negativity right out of the ballpark. From finding the right words to handling questions and comments, this is one course you won’t want to do without.