How To Master Public Speaking:
Honestly, public speaking can be a source of dread for most people. Thing is, a lot of people don’t actually know how frightened everyone else is. So I guess the best bit of advice I could give you to start with would be to know that you are not alone. According to study carried out by YouGov, around half of Brits fear public speaking. With a whopping 77% of corporate jobs requiring their suitors to speak publicly at least once month it stands to reason that this is a problem that needs sorting. And fast.
A common tip quoted increasingly often in the media is to picture your audience naked. Now, whilst I’m not saying that this is a method that doesn’t work for anyone (I’m sure plenty have alleviated stress this way), I do reckon, however, that remembering your audience are people too, should help. Don’t think of them as critics (even if they are).
Perhaps imagine they are your friends and you are trying to impress them by regaling them with a story. Seeming relaxed, and making your words more personal can essentially convince people of your commitment to whatever you are talking about. If you have trouble, learn to de-ice yourself by remembering that your audience are people too and they will have sympathy for you even if their stony expressions don’t show it.
Breathing techniques are actually very good for nerves and also for focusing the mind. Try taking 10 deep breaths before you actually start your speech or presentation. Also remembering to breathe at intervals can be a good way to time keep as well as make sure you stay calm; this kills two birds with one stone.
Slow and steady wins the race in this instance because the rate at which you speak will have an effect on how nervous you are. Remember that everyone gathered around you for this presentation are here to see You, and they are here at their leisure. Talking slowly is not only easier for you do will also make sure you sound clear and all of your points are communicated cogently.
Slowing your pace of speech will also ensure that your body stays relaxed and it gives you more time to think about what it is exactly on what you have to say. This is important due to the fact that you should not be looking at slides, notes, or your phone to tell you what to do. If you are simply reading off of a prompt then it would be just as easy to send those prompts out to the audience and not waste their time with a presentation. Make what you are saying is a development on whatever visual aids you use, should you chose to use them.
It sounds silly but there is such a thing as preparing too much. If you learn your lines off by heart, even if you don’t have a script, it will make it seem like you do have one. Inevitably, this will have the same effect as reading off an obvious prompt. No one wants to listen to an android when they could just read the notes. Instead of this, improvise if you feel the need to, don’t be a slave to the slides.
Trusting your gut in terms of presentational style is important, you are there and in the moment, so one would think you have the best gauge for how to handle your audience.