Do you get anxious when speaking to an audience? Are you terrified at the thought of presenting on stage?
It’s normal to feel some nerves before you take the mic, but what’s the best way to overcome the anxiety that usually brings a pounding heart, trembling hands and perhaps an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome?
Follow these tips for the best experience and let us know how you get on…
Know your audience
Understand who you are talking to, your speech is more about them than it is about you. Craft your words carefully to suit the demographic and interest of those in attendance. This will also help you determine how best to deliver the content of your presentation.
Own the stage
Be aware of your presence and body language when you are speaking. Face your listeners and look them in the eye, get comfortable with being on a stage and most importantly, own it!
Focus on the content
Be yourself and focus your attention on delivering the content of your presentation / speech. Remember, the audience is less interested in you and more interested in what you have to say.
Inject some humour
When appropriate, tell stories and keep your speech entertaining. Hearing positive laughter from your audience will boost your confidence and help keep your speech relatable and fun.
Avoid a detailed script
Avoid writing out your speech word-for-word, instead create bullets for points you want to convey in your speech. Writing a full script can make your speech sound monotone, particularly if you simply read it out loud. By crafting bullet points you allow yourself an opportunity to bring your personality to the stage and will deliver a more authentic presentation.
Practice, practice, practice and then practice again!
The more you prepare and practice your speech the more confident you will feel. Take the time to review all the points you need to cover and get comfortable with the material. You may also find it helpful to record yourself as you present so you can be your own critique.
Try to enjoy yourself
Try to have fun, loosen up and smile! If you don’t look like you are enjoying it, chances are your audience won’t either. Remember, the more you do this, the better you will get at it.
Record your lessons learned
It’s always healthy to review the experience when it is over. What went well? What went not so well? Try to identify all the successes and failures so you can continue to improve your public speaking game.
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