If the idea of speaking in front of a large group makes you anxious, you’re in good company; public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world. While giving a speech or presenting in front of a crowd may always be a bit nerve-wracking, there are ways you can help ease the anxiety. Over the past two weeks, we’ve discussed how to prepare your voice and relax your body in preparation for public speaking. Today, we wrap up our series on public speaking with some final tips for public speaking success.
While it’s natural to be anxious before a public speaking event, if the audience can feel your anxiety, your entire message will be compromised. Projecting confidence is crucial in capturing the audience’s attention and communicating your message effectively. Before speaking in public, there are a few steps you can take to help you communicate with clarity and confidence, no matter how daunting you find public speaking:
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Know your presentation or speech inside and out. If the material itself is second nature to you, you can concentrate on strong presentation techniques rather than remembering what it is you want to say and how you want to say it. Rehearse your presentation out loud, in front of a mirror. Once you’re comfortable with the presentation itself, ask a trusted friend to watch you do a dry run and get feedback.
- Preparation is Key: Make sure that all of your materials are in order the day before so that you have time to troubleshoot if necessary. Have more than enough copies of any handouts you may need, and check the audiovisual situation to make sure there are no surprises in terms of equipment. Heading off snafus on the day of the event will help you focus all your energy on your performance.
- Relax and Envision Success: Take a few minutes immediately before the event to sit quietly and relax. Focus on taking deep, relaxing breaths, and envision giving a successful presentation. Picture yourself speaking with confidence, and picture the audience’s positive reaction as they watch you.
Do you find public speaking intimidating? What preparation techniques have worked for you? Share your story in the comments section below!
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