Are you expecting a big presentation in the near future? Do you want to get a perfect grade in that class of yours? Few people hear the words “public speaking” and get excited.
Studies show that over 77% of people have some form or level of fear of public speaking. Many experience sweaty palms, dry mouth, or even nausea at the thought of going on stage. However, there are ways to conquer public speaking.
Whether you want to ace a presentation or improve your speaking skills, these public speaking tips will come in handy. Read on to learn how to get over public speaking fear.
1. Perfect Your Speech
First things first, plan and perfect your speech. Getting your speech out of the way will give you one less thing to worry about on presentation day. In addition, perfecting your speech until you’re happy with it can give you a confidence boost.
You want to audience to listen to something worth hearing. Empty thoughts and no main idea is about as good as bad speaker. Always tie your points back to a central theme.
2. Tour the Venue
A great way to prep yourself for presentation day is touring the venue. If you’re performing in an unfamiliar venue, it can derail your speech. Even if you’re in a classroom or office you use every day; it helps to walk around the venue.
You may feel surprised how different a room looks from the stage. Practice holding a microphone if you’ll have one while speaking onstage. Walking around the venue can also give you an idea of where to look during the speech.
3. Choose a Topic You’ll Love
Nothing is easier to talk about than a topic you’re passionate about. If possible, choose a topic you’re familiar with and even like. There’s less room for error the more you know and care about your topic.
If you stumble during your speech, you won’t find it hard to get back on track. You can finish writing your speech sooner so that you’d have more time to practice. Your passion for a topic may even be enough to distract you from public speaking fear and jitters.
4. Use Relaxation Techniques
Simple relaxation techniques can help you prime yourself for the speech. Breathing exercises and listening to calming music are only some methods. It’s all about finding what works for you.
5. It’s a Conversation, Not a Presentation
In relation to the previous point, a different approach to public speaking can help you shake your nerves. It’s easy to see public speaking as a presentation where you need to impress and show off. However, it’s much better to think of it as having a conversation with a friend.
Thinking about the potential for judgment will only increase the fear of it. A change in perspective will help you worry less about how you’ll look. Instead, you’ll become more focused on effective ways to get your point across.
6. Don’t Rush
It can be tempting to rush through your speech to get it over with. However, pacing yourself allows you to express your points well. Proper pacing can also prevent you from stuttering or stumbling over your words.
Don’t feel intimidated by the occasional pause in your speech. Take it as an opportunity to breathe and gather your thoughts. It also gives the audience a chance to absorb the information they received.
7. Use Humor
Laughter is the best medicine when it comes to public speaking fear. Humor is great at providing emotional relief at times of great distress. An icebreaker can help you shake the nerves and create a bond with the audience.
People tend to be more open to someone who can make them laugh. It also allows you to leave a great first impression and end the speech in a satisfying way.
However, keep in mind to use humor in an inclusive manner. Don’t let anyone in the room feel left out and use references everyone can understand.
8. Consider Using Visual Aids
Visual aids can help you make your presentation more engaging. Highlighting your points with slides will also help your audience remember them better. In addition, visual aids can help turn the attention away from you.
Staring back at a room full of people can give you more anxiety for a presentation. Divert their attention with a slideshow using photos, graphs, and charts.
9. Use Bullet Points But Don’t Rely on Them
Bullet points can help you remember your main ideas if your speech is quite lengthy. It’s best not to read your speech as it will make you sound robotic and insincere.
10. Look for More Opportunities to Speak
Experience is the best way to master public speaking. While you may not have enough time to become a talk show host, there are plenty of ways to practice prior to your speech. Mastering public speaking is a learning process, and error is only natural.
Mistakes help you learn, so embrace them in small and manageable ways. Speak out more in the office or during class recitation. Don’t be afraid to make small talk with strangers, like the cashier or bus driver, on your daily commute.
11. Practice With a Friend
Ask a friend to help you practice for your speech. You won’t feel as nervous, and you’ll get valuable feedback to help you perfect the speech. Get input on the clarity of your voice and topics and if they noticed any nervous tics.
12. Use Speeko
Speeko, available at https://setapp.com/apps/speeko, is the perfect app to help you practice public speaking. This app uses automated speech recognition and AI to listen to you talk.
It bases scores on various metrics, like pacing and word choice. Speeko will then give you some public speaking tips to help you perfect your speech.
Public Speaking Tips to Get Over Your Fear
Speaking in front of an audience is not everyone’s idea of fun. However, with these public speaking tips, you won’t have to fear it again. If you want to learn more about giving a great speech, check out our other blog posts.