It is True… for some, it is spiders; for many, ghosts; and others would say heights, but there are those who actually admit that public speaking is their greatest fear.
It is actually commonplace. Come to think of it, there can sometimes be nothing more frightening than having to stand up and speak in front of a group of people who could very likely shout at you, laugh at you, or leave while you are in the middle of talking. Even actress Debra Messing of the hit show Will and Grace surprisingly had this fear all her life. And she is a professional actress! Imagine how much worse this could be for those who have not even had the chance to go up on a stage at all in their lives.
Thankfully, public speaking is a fear that can easily be overcome. If you are not exactly paralyzed by fear, but you think you still have room for improvement on it, then you are realizing the fundamental truth that is facing us all. You can improve your public speaking skills quite easily by following the beginning tips mentioned below.
Remember to be prepared and get your practice. The value of preparation can never be overemphasized. It adds confidence and substance to your speeches and presentations. Research the topic you will talk about and try to find the best way to present it (angle-wise). Outline your major points and use cue cards if necessary/available. Practice your speech-delivery to make sure that your talk will not exceed the time allotted for you, and so that you could also asses your delivery from your own perspective. If you are to be the lead-speaker in a very important engagement, try to practice your speech in front of someone who could properly assess how you have done… and is able to provide honest feedback to you.
Also, Know your audience… technically, this is still part of being prepared. However, it is just so important that it calls for a separate mention. Knowing your audience provides you with valuable insight on the angle and perspective of presentation that would appeal best to them. It guides whether you can be casual and funny or whether you would be better served to be serious and analytical. It also gives you great input in streamlining your speech by suggesting what you need to include and what you can do without.
Also critical is to dress the part. As much as we refuse to admit it, image can sometimes be everything. How the audience responds to you can highly depend upon how they perceptually perceive you. Generally, you would appear as a more convincing speaker if you are dressed as business casual or business formal. Also, since the audience will have to look at you anyway, you might as well make your appearance a pleasant one for them.
Keeping the KISS in mind. Keep It Short and Simple. Even geniuses have limited attention spans… no special talent for the A.D.D. afflicted needed at all. Do not bore your audience to death with a speech that is too long. The faster you can get your message across, the better. A short and simple message also appears smarter while preventing you from being perceived as someone who came unprepared and is fumbling through their presentation. It also allows your listeners to retain what you have said easily. Including the opportunity for you to perform valauble rephrasing of your concepts – for added comprehension by your audience.
In addition to these quick tips, your public speaking skills will also be improved if you practice establishing periodic or constant eye contact with your audience. Also, if the occasion and your resources will permit, you can use visual aids such as slide presentations, handouts, product samples, etc to stimulate your audiences attention. To finish off your presentation, you should plan to answer the audiences question confidently and with a caring and informative attitude.
Remember that there will really come a time when you will have no other meaningful choice but to speak in public. So you might as well be ready for when that time comes. It could be either a disastrous or a pleasant experience for you; and you have all the power and abilities to make the most out of it. Follow the tips above and you will surely be on your way to becoming a natural at public speaking.
Dedicated to Your Public Speaking Success – http://www.EZPublicSpeaking.com