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Public Speaking – hints, tips and advice on how to be a good public speaker

Public Speaking

cartoon nervous manIf you find public speaking as painful as having a tooth drilled while lying on a bed of nails, you are not in the minority. Unless you are one of the superhuman who find it a delightful experience, then read on for some tips on public speaking. 

Personally, I used to find even the thought of getting up in front of a group of people the stuff of my worst nightmares, even worse than the one about clowns.

First thing first, you need to make sure you are fully prepared.

Read up on your subject,
make notes, familiarise yourself with your material, practice your speech, revising it until your are perfectly happy with it.

Knowing that you are thoroughly prepared will increase your confidence.

 cartoon of worm in glasses reading a book

Do some breathing exercises, they really do help to relieve tension and ease nervousness. Breath in slowly, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Do this a couple of times. It will help to clear your mind and centre your thoughts. Trust me, it really does help.

Visualise yourself speaking, that you are confident and assured, with a clear voice. Get yourself into the mind set that you will succeed. Your audience want you to succeed; they want to hear what you have to say.

Use good posture, sit or stand up straight, don’t fiddle with your hands or other objects,
avoid nervous gestures. Look people in the eye, slowly look around the room.
Add emphasis to different points by modulating your voice. You want to keep peoples attention.

Decide on whether you wish to use cue cards, if you want to use presentation materials, such as PowerPoint or an overhead projector. Practice using your chosen medium.

Remember that the more experience you gain in public speaking, the more confidence you will gain. It’s like any exercise, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So get your public speaking muscles in shape!

As Alexander Gregg said, “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience”.

Whether you are speaking at
Conference and Meeting Venues
or at your daughter’s wedding if you follow the above it should help
make it a less traumatic experience.