“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death…This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” ~Jerry Seinfeld
Does the thought of speaking in front of a group scare you? If so, you’re not alone: studies show that public speaking is one of the most common fears. Even though speaking in front of others can be intimidating, it can be much easier if you are properly prepared. Use the following tips to help you through your next public speaking experience:
Practice, practice, practice: The number one rule of public speaking! If you are completely confident in what you are saying, you will feel far more comfortable once you are looking out at a sea of strangers. Practice your presentation—in the car, on your lunch break, in the shower, wherever you can—until it becomes second nature.
Breathe!: This is important for two reasons. First off, your breath is the power behind your voice. Breathing properly will allow your voice to come across as strong and confident. Secondly, breathing deeply can help you relax and stay focused. Take a moment between major points to take a deep, relaxing breath.
Relax: Feeling nervous is normal and can even be motivating in some circumstances; however, many people experience anxiety to such a level that it interferes with their performance. In order to calm your nerves before speaking, take some time for yourself. Whenever possible, find a quiet place where you can be alone. For a few moments, don’t think about what it is you are going to say (if you followed our first tip, that shouldn’t be necessary anyway!); instead, close your eyes, visualize a peaceful, calming scene, and take several deep breaths. You’ll feel much calmer as you begin your speech.
Watch the following video to hear Jayne Latz, President of Corporate Speech Solutions, give more great pointers for successful public speaking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQJ4JpaB_DQ
And as always, for more personalized help in becoming a great communicator, contact us at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com!