If you're human you probably have a fear of public speaking. As simple as that. I can say from personal experience that it can be pretty nerve-racking when you have dozens if not hundreds of eyes upon you. However, I have news for you: public speaking is a part of life and it is a skill you must hone. From speaking in front of your bosses to making a toast at someone's wedding, there is no way to escape it. Here I will provide you with some tips on how to improve your public speaking and knock it out of the park. I will provide you with personal real-life examples and my knowledge from taking public speaking courses.
1. Maintain eye contact and do not look at the floor- This is the number one tip. You may be trembling on the inside but you must at least appear confident and the best way is to maintain eye contact. While you are talking look straight at your audience and try not to look at the ground. If you are looking at them and throughout the room or audience area, the audience will have your attention and listen more intently.
2. Speak clearly and to the back of the room- What I mean by speak to the back of the room is you must make sure that your voice is projecting and being heard by the farthest person from you. If the farthest person from you can hear you that means that everyone else in the room will be able to. Secondly, speak clearly and at a comfortable pace. These are tips that will help capture your audiences attention better to make sure you don't leave them scratching their heads in confusion over what you are saying.
3. Dress nicely and be properly groomed- Public speaking is all about CONFIDENCE. If you are confident you will speak better and feel more comfortable. The last thing you want is your audience wondering what the stain on your shirt is from or why you are wearing two different color socks. This is why dressing nice and being nicely groomed will improve your speaking session. The only thing you will have to focus on is explaining yourself and covering the topic you are talking on.
4. Know the material- When you are about to give a speech about anything it is crucial to have researched extensively and know the material like the back of your hand. The reason for this, as we have covered, is that you only want to worry or focus on your performance not your dress code, material, etc. Public speaking is tough enough as it is. If you are speaking in front of a class for example make sure to practice numerous times on your own or in front of a mirror.
5. Take a deep breath- Nerves, nerves, and nerves are the reason for using this technique. Taking a deep breath has two advantage: one it will bring more oxygen to your brain and two it will have a relaxing effect on your body. Breathing techniques are used in such things as yoga to relax and calm the mind and body.
6. Have a personality- Remember your speech is about them not you. Do not bore your audience with a monotone voice throughout as they will get bored. Let your personality shine through and try to be as enthusiastic as possible.
Lastly, remember the most important part is to make it fun. Learn to enjoy speaking because it will make your life easier and you will appear confident and even more attractive!