Most people think public speaking is one of the most challenging things you could ever do. The truth is that like language learning, playing a musical instrument, or playing a sport, public speaking is a skill we can train ourselves to do.
There are a few basic principles to public speaking, and if you follow them, you can be as good a public speaker as any of the top speakers in the nation. The following are five basic rules to standing up and speaking in front of an audience.
You need to prepare for the event. You want to look your best, feel motivated and self-confident, so you need to gather all the materials, props, and dress for the presentation. Consider dropping by the conference room, stage, or area where you will be speaking. Check to see if the place has the production technology you need. Make sure the event organizers have made a projector available. Ensure there is proper audio equipment and if the area is not equipped with an entire stage, be sure to acquire an excellent portable stage for your presentation. Utilizing the best equipment will allow you to optimize your presentation so that you can convey your message without any issues.
People want to see and listen to someone relaxed, comfortable, and engaging. You need to be yourself, just as you are in a real conversation. Don’t focus too much on the public and instead pretend you are speaking to just one person. If you can hold a conversation with one person, you can speak to a room full of people when you think of it as just a conversation.
Most very successful people have one thing in common, they visualize the final goal. Salespeople envision closing the deal. Athletes imagine winning the competition. You too can be a wonderful public speaker by anticipating the result. See yourself as a beautiful speaker, know how you want to look, the body language you want to use. If you see your success, you will overcome your anxiety.
While you may not be able to be a perfect speaker, you want to do an excellent job as an effective public speaker. Like anything else, the more you practice, the more you improve. Practice your speech in front of a mirror every day. The mirror gives your brain the illusion of having an audience, so it becomes more realistic for you.
Add more descriptive details to your speech. Everyone loves a good story, so if you can add personal examples or experiences, even a joke or anecdote can break up the most boring topic and make it more interesting. People enjoy listening to other people’s experiences, stories, tragedies, and successes. Telling stories makes your speech more credible.
In all of the phases of your speech, from writing to presentation, always keep your purpose in mind, which should be to teach, to inform to benefit the audience. When you remember what the ultimate goal is, you take the focus off of yourself and your fears and instead focus on teaching, motivating, and entertaining your audience.
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