Public speaking is a dreaded task that many people hate, and if you’re faced with speaking in public at work or at school, it can put a great deal of stress on your shoulders. These four smart tips will help you to shake your fear of public speaking—and maybe even become quite skilled at it in the process.
- Start from the ending. Though this may seem counterproductive, it’s very important to keep your end goal in mind before speaking in public. How do you want your audience to feel when your speech is over? What is your main idea? Once you decide on these things, it will be much easier to stay focused during your presentation.
- Simplify. Don’t use big words or elaborate phrases in your speech in an attempt to sound smarter; it will only make you sound flustered and, most likely, make you more nervous. Deliver concise, clear thoughts using basic language.
- Tone down your visuals. If you use PowerPoint or another visual aid in your presentation, keep it minimal. You don’t want to rely on reading off of your slides, and neither does your audience.
- Practice, practice, practice. The only real way to prepare for public speaking is to get a bit of experience under your belt. Don’t just read your speech in front of the mirror, give a mock presentation to friends, family or close coworkers. This will help you to shake the nerves once the real thing comes around.
Want to Be a Better Public Speaker? Do What the Pros Do. [Forbes]
Seven Principles of Effective Public Speaking [AMA]
5 Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker [The VAR Guy]
10 Tips to Be a Better Public Speaker [CBS News]