What is an idea that is not explained clearly? What is an opportunity lost because you weren’t able to deliver due to poor confidence? Here’s an issue many people face, trust me you’re not alone.
Many people grow up confident, and outspoken and go into shells, for some others it’s the opposite, they start off as quiet individuals and life’s circumstances make them work on their confidence.
Before discovering the secrets to public speaking, it’s important to understand how valuable the skill can be for someone. One may find themselves handicapped if they don’t have the optimum presentation and public speaking skills to convey ideas to others. Companies value this and have labeled it as an asset in their employees. Being able to convince another, express ideas confidently and precisely helps in spreading your ideas effectively. Your leadership skills develop too with public speaking.
How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking | Danish Dhamani | TEDxKids@SMU
Here are some life-changing Public Speaking tips:
- Know what is normal and accept it – Nervousness, anxiety, sweating, pounding heart, and a racing mind are all part of the excitement of taking the stage. It’s normal, happens to the best of us, it is a physical reaction and nothing more. In no way does this depict the success of your performance, this part just needs getting used to. Accept it as it is.
- Content is key – know your audience, and exactly what you want to convey is very important. As the speaker the aim of the presentation should be crystal clear to you, only then will you be able to explain it well to your audience. Draft a clear outline, make note of the key points you want to cover and figure out the rest of the content as the time allotted.
- 30 seconds to success – The initial thirty seconds of your speech is what you have to get your audience hooked for the rest of the session. Yes! 30 seconds, and since you know this now, plan it in an interesting manner. A joke, a riddle, a shock and awe gesture, do whatever you are comfortable with.
- Length and being smart – The attention span of an adult is 20 minutes, so if you have to go one for longer than that, ensure that there is no monotony in your speech, a joke, a gesture, some type of break helps the audience to stay gripped.
- Practice and rehearse – Ample rehearsal and practice will build your confidence. When you are clear on your topic and content, rehearse it, time it, and even get inputs from honest people like friends/family. Take criticism well, and improve your performance. Recording yourself also helps, to see yourself “perform”, you will notice certain patterns in your speech. Maybe it’s your physical presence that needs altering, maybe it is your voice/pronunciation etc. This will help you be comfortable with that people will view you as, and take away some of the anxiety.
- Eye contact and observing the audience- Confidence exudes itself via eye contact with the audience; it helps them to stay engaged too. Observing their response, via reading facial expressions, body language etc. will give you hints on how to improvise your speech for better reception.
The worst speech you’ll ever give, will be far better than the one you never give.Fred E. Miller
If you want external help, don’t be shy to find out local training programs on public speaking, join a Toastmasters club or do a course on Londonreal. Self-help books may also help, there are Youtubers who share their secrets to public speaking, you can also observe the ones you hold as role models and note their style and what you like about it.
All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.Ralph Waldo Emerson
It takes practice, and no one got there without practice, in process; making a fool out of themselves here and there. The audience that didn’t enjoy your performance will probably teach you more than the one that loved you the whole time. One step at a time, do it and build the skill, because in the end of the day it is a skill. And like any other skill, it can be learned, developed and perfected!