Scared of public speaking? Fear no more, we have your back, at least we have some tips to help you. We are in the business of video but often people clam up with fear the same way they do when it comes to public speaking, because they are throwing themselves into something different.
You know the feeling: sweaty palms, a knot in your tum and a general dreaded feeling of nerves. Silently praying something comes up that means you can do anything, and you mean anything other than speak publicly in a room full of people you don’t know.
This can be a pretty limiting professionally, being able to clearly state your point is important in business and something that all of us will have to do at some point: be it pitching to a potential client or putting your case forward to your boss when you want a promotion. Having the skills required to speak in public are essential to get ahead in your professional life.
Fear not (pun intended), there are techniques, tips and skills that can help you overcome and become a pro at public speaking.
KNOW your topic: Research, practice over and over and prepare as much as you can. Have your key points, taken from a script, noted down on flash cards and prepare all possible questions so you are ready to answer anything that could be thrown at you. Remember, the only way you can get better at doing something, is by doing something. You know more than your audience do, people are there to listen to you because they want to. Try and remember this as you prepare to speak.
ORGANISE, organise, organise. If your notes are clearly set out, it will help keep your mind clear and in turn reduce your anxiety.
FIND your rhythm with short sentences that have punch and emphasise any key points. Don’t be scared of silence, a short pause can add anticipation and help you gather your thoughts.
VIDEO yourself. If you do this you can be aware of your expressions and gestures, you can see how you move your body, does it look comfortable? It also gives you an opportunity to hear your voice and how it comes across and if anything needs work to make sure you create the right tones and body language to warm your audience.
BREATHE. If you feel yourself starting to panic then focus on your breathing, this helps calm you and bring back your focus.
PRETEND some of your close friends or family are the audience and let them hear the speech. Plus, what better way to get no holds barred feedback and first hand practice of the potential questions you might be receiving.
WALK it off. Half an hour before you are due to present, put your notes down (don’t lose them, whatever you do) and go for a walk to clear your head and get the blood flowing around your body.
PREZZI, is way better than PowerPoint in our opinion but whatever you use, use something that engages your audience, keep them snappy with only key points and use great images and infographics, stock or not, make sure they are up to date and relate to your presentation but great images make a good presentation, great.
YOU are not alone, I am here with you…no really, you aren’t. I guarantee you that at least 80% of your audience have been in the same position and are impressed that you are even up there at all.
WATER, you need to keep some water nearby because your throat WILL get dry, like you have just woken up after a night on the beers and you will be screaming inwardly, I NEED WATER, so just take your own.
FRANKIE was right, relax, don’t do it, sorry….but seriously, just relax. Bring your shoulders down, breathe and focus.
SLOW down. Speak slowly. This will help you control your breathing and you will come across calmer and more like Frankie above (relaxed).
ENERGY, yes all that energy be it nervous, excited, scared, it’s all energy that can you channel and change into passion that will come across when you present. Using techniques like breathing and meditation can help you do this.
AMAZING, yes you are amazing and don’t forget to give yourself a good old pat on the back, you did it.
NOW WHAT? Take everything you learned this time and use it to make your next public speaking event even better.
Now go forth and speak like you’ve never spoken before.
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