Public Speaking the Easy Way

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Public Speaking the Easy Way, by Rich Brunelle

Everybody I know has at one time or another experienced difficulty when having to give a speech, teach a class, or give a report to an audience. Of course, there are those that do public speaking all the time that have little difficulty. But for the rest of us, public speaking gives us a case of nervous jitters.

Here are a few tips and one trick to help you if you ever have to get up in front of a few hundred strange faces and address them without feeling so sick to your stomach that you cannot speak anyway.

First of all, do not fall for the “Just pretend their all naked” theory. I tried it. I ended up laughing so hard I had to excuse myself for a moment. And then, I wasn’t able to tell my audience why I broke into the fit of laughter. Try the following:

1.) Learn your subject matter prior to having to speak on it. I have addressed audiences on topics without prior knowledge of the subject. Trust me; it is far easier if you have a clue what you are talking about.

2.) Dress for the occasion. Another “Trust Me,” You will find it uncomfortable standing before an audience in the wrong attire. If you are speaking about electricity, and you are an electrician, you can dress like an electrician. But if you are a dentist speaking about tooth decay, do not dress like a plumber. Wear a suit, uniform or applicable work attire if you want to feel comfortable.

3.) Do not drink too much of anything. If you are already nervous, should you do anything that would require a visit to the restroom at an inopportune time?

4.) Breathe! That’s right. Calmly. . . In and out, nice steady even breaths. While speaking, many people forget to breathe normally, trying to complete their sentence. Relax a little, and breathe in, out . . . that’s right.

5.) (This is the trick) Relax yourself and your audience. And, get their attention. One of the easiest ways to relax you and them is by telling a joke. But, I can never remember any. So, I take a copy of the local newspaper Want Ads with me. If you cannot find something humorous in the regular ads, try the personals column. There is always something funny there. Just don’t allow yourself to get inappropriate with your humor.

If you try the aforementioned and make it through your public speaking session without wetting your pants or looking like an idiot, you have succeeded. If you haven’t, I’m sorry. I wish I could have been more help. And, if you’re still at the podium slobbering all over yourself or laughing like a fool, I warned you not to picture them all naked . . .


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