Public speaking can seem like a scary thing when you’ve had terrible luck with it. Does the audience seem large and terrifying?
Do you feel like your knees are shaking and you can’t seem to get control over your own hands? Do you feel burning sensation in your cheeks while walking on stage?
You might have a fear of public speaking.
But don’t worry: we all have it!
There are some very easy and helpful tips for you to better yourself while talking to an audience. Read on to check them out.
When writing your presentation, remember that the audience is filled with regular people. Limiting graphs and including more personalized information will keep the audience interested in what you have to say.
Proper preparation of your presentation is essential to prevent getting stuck while speaking. Try to schedule enough time to write and rehearse your presentation.
There are some instances where you may be forced to write a last-minute pitch. If you’re short on time, you could get a presentation or speech written by a service like WritingCheap.
Once you have your speech, here are 5 tips to help you master the art of public speaking.
Tone of voice and body language can sometimes be more important than words.
It is best not to speak immediately when coming onto the stage. Take a minute or two to get a feel for the audience before beginning your opening statement.
Once you’re ready, just relax into it. Tensing up and expecting the worst will be more harmful than any mistake you could make. If you use your body and your tone to speak to your audience, then your words will be that much more meaningful.
One thing you should never do, is begin your speech with, “I’m sorry”. To engage with your audience and create a rapport, you should always begin your presentation with a story. Start a conversation, and if you include the audience with rhetorical questions or something similar, then all the better.
Your opening story should be compelling enough to draw the audience in, while also being relevant to the topic of your presentation.
Ensure that the story flows into your first point, and that you can link back to it in another point or story. And yes, telling more than one story is an excellent way to ensure that the audience stays engaged.
The truth is, they will remember your stories more easily than the facts and figures on your slideshow.
Your presentation needs to appeal to the audience’s self-interests. They only care about the facts that are related to them. As I stated previously, try to limit the number of graphs and tables that you use.
When writing up your presentation, having between 3 to 5 points are ideal. Remember to begin each point with a story before getting to the facts and figures.
The best public speakers know that a pause draws an audience in – if done correctly.
During the pause, try to make eye contact with as many audience members as you can. A pause only works if it is not too long and there are not too many. Pauses should only be used at key moments in your speech or they lose their effectiveness.
Ending your presentation early is always best, as individuals have a limited attention span. Siting through a presentation that is over an hour long will make anyone fidgety, no matter how entertaining the presentation is.
Remember to thank the audience for their time and patience. Time is valuable, and they made the effort to show up for you, the least you can do is say a simple “Thank you”. It goes a long way.
If you stumble over your words, just take a breath and start over. No matter how your presentation goes, always remember to smile!
Kayla studied Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Management Marketing at Boston Business College in Cape Town. She is currently on a very exciting journey of becoming a travel writer through enhancing her skills by writing about safaris, adventure and travel tips.