According to a survey once conducted by the Wall Street Journal, the greatest fear among American citizens was not being Palm Bay Bat Removal scared of clowns, getting run over by a car, loneliness or even death, but public speaking. Can you comprehend how nerve-wracking the encounter must be for someone who has an inkling they may need to speak before an audience which they prefer even DEATH over it? Stage fright is a reality, if you have to deliver a speech in public, participate in a group discussion, or give a demonstration. There are not many men and women with the gift of the gab and indeed, there are visionaries like Elon Musk who still stammer throughout their presentations so you can imagine how easy it is for an average person to break into a sweat as soon as they have to speak in public. Butterflies in the stomach. Near nervous breakdown. The fear of failure. These thoughts and feelings surround us like an impenetrable cocoon, pulling down our confidence to a nadir.
However, through continuous practice and learning, an individual can eventually learn how to deliver an effective public speech. Whether your speaking skills are average or below , here are 7 powerful tips that will assist you in improving your public speaking skills:
1. Know your audience
One of the most important parts of public speaking is to know your audience. Will you be presenting your speech to a novice audience or a group of highly experienced people? Will you be speaking to a local group or overseas guests? Prepare your content accordingly so that the audience remains engaged and take cognizance of geographical and cultural biases. As an example, it does not behoove nicely to make clichéd Rajnikanth jokes in front of an audience comprised of people from Tamil Nadu. A rigid reaction will throw you off track and make the situation uncomfortable for both you and the audience you are addressing.
Take deep breathes. Boost your self-confidence with some pep talk
If you suffer from speech anxiety then you tend to take shallow and rapid breathes, which only aggravates the physical and mental stress as soon as you arrive at the stage. Learning proper breathing techniques is a necessity to enhance your public speaking skills, with the diaphragmatic breathing exercise being the most recommended by specialists. Additionally, just before your address, you should take deep breathes because they act as a great stress alleviator. Giving yourself a short pep talk is also a excellent way to calm your jitters. Say things like this to yourself:
I’ve done it before” (if it is not your first time on the stage)
“This is all about them, not me”
3. It’s okay to be nervous
It is human nature to be nervous. Even the most seasoned speakers have revealed that they feel a tinge of anxiety every time they go on stage. 1 way to reduce the jitters is to speak to a close relative or friend just before you go live. Another powerful solution is to begin your speech in a casual manner and break the ice with a joke. Don’t be intimated by all the eyes staring at you. Remember, the majority of them would give their kidney than be up there in your place.
4. Give mock speeches and Request honest critiques
This step is to be done at least a few weeks before the D-day. Giving mock speeches in front of your family or friends, and if possible, an unknown test audience (if you can manage that) is a very effective method to enhance your public speaking skills. You will get familiarized with the experience and can get honest critiques regarding the gaps in your speech or body language. This will make certain that the end result is as error-free as you can.
5. Make your speech clear and to the point
Don’t beat around the bush so that your audience loses interest as well as you lose track of what the speech was about. Make your speech crisp, interesting and on point. Do not use a lot of verbiage. Don’t forget to entertain any question on this issue, which you should be well-versed with! You can also do a Q&A session after the speech ends, because that’s how it goes, but
6. Use hand gestures effectively, improve your body language
It’s an axiomatic fact that body language is an important part of communication skills. Having a poor body language e.g. pacing up and down nervously, making a lot of hand movements or awkward gestures, obtaining a slouched posture et al significantly impacts your public speaking experience. To prevent this, you need to practice in front of a mirror, get a friend or family member to record your address through a mock session, and examine what all mistakes you are making. Are you making too many hand motions? Are you hiding your nervousness by moving around too much? Go through an entire checklist of body language tips for public speaking so that you don’t wind up as a nervous wreck.
7. Do not worry about negative evaluation. Keep practicing.
There is rarely anyone who will deliver extempore in his or her first speech ever. Not every individual has the eloquence of state, Barack Obama, or the confidence of Nick Vujicic. Most people fear being negatively evaluated by the audience or failing to talk the way they intended to. This can result in abject anxiety and stress, and might even set you off from public talking forever, in order to not get embarrassed again. But the only way forward is to take things in stride and learn from whatever mistakes you made. Going on the stage repeatedly will ultimately improve your confidence and you’ll eventually end up becoming an expert speaker with time.