5 Tips for Public Speaking Success
When I think of public speaking I think of my heart racing, worrying what the audience is thinking about me and feeling like I am going to faint. I suffer from panic attacks and public speaking is one of my biggest triggers.
However, as my favourite quote above states, it is important to face things on a regular basis that scare you. I joined an international club called Toastmasters and have learned how to manage this fear and want to share tips that can help others to manage their fear as well.
Public speaking is a skill that takes practice. It helps immensely to work your way up from smaller to bigger speaking opportunities.
Determine what a good starting point for yourself is in terms of audience size. I was aware that my nervousness arose in meetings with 10+ coworkers, so I began by speaking up in those situations before working myself up to larger opportunities.
Also, learn what your starting point is in terms of duration. My starting duration was just saying one sentence in a small meeting. It was a small win every time I faced that fear, but eventually I got to the point where I was comfortable engaging in full conversations in the same setting. I now am working on lengthy speeches in front of a room full of attendees.
Know That Nervousness Will Pass
When I have given longer talks, I noticed that I typically have an initial feeling of nervousness but that it passes after a short amount of time. Take a nice firm deep breath right before you start to talk to calm your nerves. Also, keep in the back of your mind that in just a few moments, you will overcome the hurdle of uneasiness; it always passes.
Preparation is Key
Be prepared whenever possible. Take the time to rehearse and know your main talking points. Don’t write out your speech word for word though; just know your main talking points so you can talk naturally.
Ask For Feedback
Most likely there will be areas of improvement, which can include items that you might not be aware of. Ask a peer to provide feedback after your speaking opportunity to learn what they noticed. I have always been surprised at the feedback I received since so many items were subconscious, such as inserting too many filler words and speaking too fast. Once you know what you need to work on you will eventually become aware during your speaking opportunities, learn to self-correct and eventually overcome those aspects.
It’s important to be patient with yourself while you work on facing this fear. Like I mentioned previously, this is a learned skill that takes practice. Cheer yourself on for every win, such as stopping yourself from saying “um” when there is a pause in your speech or taking on lengthier speaking opportunities. The fact that you are making a commitment to face a fear is something to be proud of each time you do so.
Source : www.eventopedia.com