Speaking in front of an audience takes a lot of courage and confidence. Some are born public speakers whereas some people need practice to communicate better and improve their public speaking ability.
The fear of public speaking is one of the most commonly found ones and includes many other fears such as fear of being rejected, fear of mockery and fear of humiliation. The ghost of public speaking can be overcome a lot with very simple steps you should keep in mind.
You’ll do fine if you check out some of these tips to prevent you from forgetting your lines or doing anything stupid when speaking to an audience.
People have a tendency to judge people from their clothes. What you wear while facing an audience defines you because they form an opinion even before you start speaking. What you wear also increases your confidence. You know people won’t judge you as inferior if you wear good clothes which builds your confidence, makes you feel professional and ready for the challenge.
Learn from Successful People
Get inspiration from successful people. Take notes on their way of speaking and body language. You should not pretend to be like them, but get motivated from them. People come from different fields and all might not be comfortable speaking in public, but have to do it after getting famous. Even Warren Buffet had public speaking problems at first.
Give Introduction like a Leader
The introduction of any speech puts forward an idea of what the speech is going to be about. So, give introduction of yourself as well as the speech in a way that grabs attention and gives the audience something to think about.
Prepare Beforehand and Practice
Prepare your speech according to your audience. Think about what the audience will come to hear and receive. Mold your speech accordingly. For example, if you are giving a speech for friends, students or colleagues, all of them must have different elements. Try to produce clear words and say it slow. Be empathetic and try to understand what the audience will be hearing. Read the speech again and again. Recite it to your family, friends, pets or mirrors. You can also record videos of practice. This will make you feel confident about the speech as you’ll know the speech better. Focus on the pattern followed to remember the words. Practice again and again.
Get Interactive (Multimedia) and Energetic
Engage your audience in the presentation or speech. The more you interact with them through words, gestures, answers, etc, the more they will listen carefully. You can also ask questions to them. Do not get passive while talking; any audience gets bored if the presenter him/herself is bored. You can incorporate multimedia such as videos, audio, charts, images, leaflets, posters or animations to make it engaging and interesting.
Take a Stand, Tell Stories and Give Examples
Do not falter or go back on your own words. If your speech is taking one angle to the issue, continue doing it till the end. Focus only on one side of the story and prove your point. Persuade them to believe what you say to be true. Tell stories, true ones or made up ones. This will make people emotionally connect to the speech and believe in you. Examples and data also help to strengthen your points.
Pretend to be Famous while Being You
You might be a bathroom singer or dancer. The same feeling of being famous and fabulous that you get is what you need while talking to a mass. Try to bring in the same feeling. But also remember to be yourself. Pretending to be someone else will only lead to problems ad make you do stupid things. You are always the best in your own skin. And also remember that the audience does not know more about your own topic, you are the one who knows it the most.
Tickle Their Funny Bones
You don’t need to be funny vehemently or forcefully, but be as funny as you usually are. Think of explaining to an audience as you are explaining something to a friend who doesn’t know much on the topic. Include wittiness if you are comfortable so that people connect to you better.
Eye to Eye
Eye contact is a basic in every kind of presentation. Look the audience in the eye while speaking. If there are lots of people, just look at their direction for a longer time so that they feel you are looking at them. Eye contact builds trust and makes you more appealing.
Everybody Knows You Are Not Perfect
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Nobody is perfect. People have their own fortes. Your forte might not be public speaking and your audience understands that. They know you are not perfect and will not humiliate you just because you made some mistakes.
Oh! Don’t be a Narcissist!
People do not come to look at you, judge you or ridicule you. They want information and you are giving it to them which is enough for them. You do not need to panic as if your audience is there just to make fun of you. Your objective is to provide proper information, which you are doing, they won’t complain about anything.
Short and Simple is the Way to Go
People hate long and boring speeches. Some public speakers think that using lots of jargons make them more professional. That is not true if the audience doesn’t understand what you are saying. So, keep your speech as simple and short as possible but don’t skip any important points. You will definitely do great.
Smile and Answer and Give Something to People
Smile is also a way of building trust and being likable like having eye contact. It can be a strength in difficult situations. Similarly, do not be a stuck up fellow, try to answer questions raised by the audience. Quench their curiosities. And lastly, give something profound to them to think about for a long time. That way they will remember you and the speech.
Though, these tips might not be very useful in every situation, using and developing few of them every other time while talking to a mass will surely be beneficial to all.