Public speaking – the one thing most of us dread. Presentations, however, are an essential part of every business and can help you get your initial funding, raise brand awareness and attract potential clients. Master the art of public speaking with these easy and efficient tips:
Don’t memorize – practice
One mistake most people do, when giving a speech, is memorizing it beforehand. This will only add to your anxiety and will also make your speech sound forced. Instead, practice the material – understand your key messages, script out the conversation and prepare some bullet points in advance.
Engage with audience
Engaging with your audience is the sole key to success, when it comes to public speaking. Don’t just go on the stage and blurt out your speech. Start with a leading question and encourage people to participate and ask, if they feel like it. This will not only make your audience listen carefully, but will also help you calm down and get rid of the stage fright.
Avoid certain words
When you’re the keynote speaker, you need to sound like an expert. Avoid words such as “just” (“I just feel like”, “I just want to add”), “actually” or “I think” – they limit your authority. Instead, focus on strong-sounding words and phrases.
Coping with nerves
Even the most prepared speakers experience some anxiety when speaking in front of a public. That’s completely normal and anxiety can, in fact, help and boost your performance. When you’re feeling nervous, stop thinking about yourself and over-obsessing over your stage fright. Instead, use your anxiety to your benefit – remember who you are and what you’re trying to do, and concentrate on what your audience wants and needs. When you go on stage, find your friend or that person who always makes you feel confident and talk to them, as if they’re the only person in the room.
Always take a minute before you go on stage to calm yourself. Use deep breathing exercises to slow down your heart rate and give your body the oxygen it needs.