ad // Public speaking is a very common fear for a lot of people who might have to address a larger body of people in a more professional setting. But some jobs require public speaking or if you’re holding an event of any kind (even a blogging event) then having a public speaker might be really beneficial for the event!
So you don’t want nerves and a fear of public speaking to stop you from either progressing in your career or having an amazing event that impacts lots of people. Of course, if it is an event you’re organizing, you can always hire business speakers if the situation is right.
But if you’re the one with the experience, then you’re going to want to get up there and do the speaking for yourself. There are lots of tips for public speaking and how to make the most out of your time speaking to your audience but here are just a few important ones to get you started.
6 top tips for public speaking:
Learn breathing techniques if you’re nervous
Nerves before public speaking is very normal, so first and foremost, remind yourself that the nerves you’re feeling are okay and it’s nothing out of the ordinary. You just don’t want your nerves to get the better of you, so learning some helpful and calming breathing techniques for before you go on can be incredibly helpful – such as the 7/11 technique.
Be organized with your material
It’s normal to make notes and have notes with you when you’re public speaking but the last thing you want is for your notes to be in the wrong order! We’ve all seen clips from movies where public speakers end up accidentally knocking their notes on the floor too – nightmare! Pin them together, make sure they’re in the right order and they’re readable.
Don’t speak too fast
It’s easy to speak too quickly and trip over our words when we’re nervous – even when you’re not public speaking – so you’re going to want to make a conscious effort not to do that on stage. You might even want to consider making yourself a little note that you can have on stage with you to remind you to slow down.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through
Although you’re highly likely going to be reading from some sort of prompts, you absolutely shouldn’t just turn into a robot whilst you’re giving your speech. This is the easiest way to lose people’s attention. If you’re naturally a funny person, let people see that. If you stumble over your words and make a joke about it, then that’s something your audience will remember and like you for.
Know your audience and adapt accordingly
Your public speech is for your audience – not for you. It’s something you want to share, tell and show other people so it’s important to know what your audience are there for, age demographics and more so you can deliver the most effective speech to them as possible. Gauge their reactions throughout your speech as well, so you can adapt to how they’re reacting.
Consider visual prompts
You might want to add visual prompts like a slideshow to your speech – you’ll see a fair amount of people giving Ted Talks who do this and it can be a great addition to help the audience understand and engage. You’re not going to want to overwhelm them with visual cues but some is a nice touch to the presentation.
Whether you’re speaking in front of 10 or 10,000 people, these pointers will all apply. And public speaking, regardless of the size of the audience, can be a scary thing!
But once you do it once, you can learn from your experience and adapt for the next one. Each audience will be different but you will begin to learn how to adapt and read your audience more and more.