Are you a natural public speaker? Do you relish the thought of standing up in front of a crowd of people and presenting a set of slides? Thought not. Speaking to hundreds of people is not something that comes at all naturally to most people. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite and the thought might leave you with sweaty palms and a feeling of impending doom.
If you are someone that has to face up to the challenge of public speaking but struggles with even the thought of it, then look no further than our handy guide.
If you’re using a PowerPoint presentation then get to know that set of slides forwards and backwards but do not make the classic PowerPoint mistake of simply reading everything on the slide to your audience. They can read that for themselves, your job is to add the inside scoop to whatever it is you’re speaking on.
Business experts all say that failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so however you feel about the actual act of public speaking plan inside and out for what you’re going to say. Practice time and time again in front of a few friendly faces if necessary before you take it to a wider audience.
It’s old advice but it works, breathe deeply before you head on stage and collect your thoughts. Use whatever techniques work for you but slow your breathing down, focus on the task in hand and give yourself some positive affirmations.
Remind yourself that you are fully prepared, that you know exactly what you’re doing and that you’re going to speak slowly and calmly and not race through. Let your arms hang down by your sides and feel the stress draining from your body. Now you’re all set.
If you, or other members of your team, have regular public speaking duties then investing in training, with Executive Speaking Inc for example, might provide an excellent investment into your team’s success.
One of the best ways of learning about what makes effective public speaking and what is a disaster in the making is listening to brilliant (and awful) speakers. If you want to give yourself a few coaching tips, take a look on YouTube and find videos specifically geared towards public speaking. Seeing someone else win, or fail, should give you a good steer towards improving your own techniques.
Remember that no one needs to know how nervous you feel and while it’s understandable and perfectly normal to have butterflies in your stomach and more than a little stage fright, with the right training you can make a success of it.
Once you’ve pulled off one speaking engagement successfully and received some great feedback from your audience and your boss, you never know you might find yourself volunteering to take the next speaking opportunity.
Put a few of our strategies in place the next time you’re facing a large audience and take your public speaking to the next level.