Mastering the art of public speaking
5 quick tips to avoid stage fright and master public speaking
Stage fear! …..That feeling that every kid knows very well and something that seemingly stays with you throughout all the presentations in college and business meetings at work. A speech well rehearsed and delivered can sway people and influence their opinions, but not unless you master the art of confident speech.
Read on for a few tips below…
- Practice practice and more practice
‘Practice makes perfect’ may sound like a tired old cliché being trotted out, but it works pretty well. Pausing or stammering when put under the spotlight is usually the initial causes to develop cold feet, but going over exactly what you’re going to say a few times beforehand will make sure this never happens. Cut the problem off at the source.
- Recollect anecdotes
Audiences, whether it’s a huge gathering or just a few of your colleagues, traditionally react better to anecdotes related to the topic that you’re talking about. You can even start with a funny story before proceeding onto more serious territory, as a sense of humor is always appreciated in a speaker. You can even improvise and come up with a short and witty tale if you feel the situation demands it now and then in order to keep your listeners better engaged.
- Give your audience a chance to express their thoughts
No one fancies sitting through having to listen to someone talk without getting even a word in. You may be the one doing the speaking up on stage, but remember to keep the audience interested at all times by providing reminders that they’re involved. You can do this by asking questions, or even periodically inviting questions and opinions from them.
- Post-match analysis
Sit down with yourself at the end of the speech, and try to recollect the things you said and did. In the event that your speech was addressed to a large gathering, you could also have someone tape it and play it back. This will help you gauge the areas you need to work on, and iron out the little flaws that are still standing in the way of you and a terrific speech.
- Remain confident
If you’re reading this, it’s quite likely that you are a huge bundle of nerves when you have to do some public talking. Try to battle this by engaging in some self confidence rituals before and during the speech. Tell yourself constantly that you’re going to do a great job. Make sure you get lots of sleep before the day your speech is due, as fatigue never helps. Work on your body language to ensure that you give off a confident vibe onstage. Remember, your actions are a reflection of your thoughts, so staying optimistic and self-assured will always stand you in good stead while walking out to address a huge gathering.