Elbert Hubbard said and he is worth noting, “The only way to learn to speak is to speak and speak, and speak and speak, and speak and speak and speak.”
- Get Organized. Make sure your thoughts and material are presented in a well thought out order.
- Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and practise your presentation. Practise in front of a mirror. Imagine you are being spoken to.
- Record your presentation and notice how you sound. Are you speaking too fast or slow?
- Remember your audience is present to hear your speech not reject you.
- Keep things simple. Short sentences and repeat key points.
- Practise breathing calmly. This will help you to remain calm and focussed.
- Ask someone to read your presentation to you. Note what works and where you can improve.
- Give your presentation to another person. Perhaps the dog! Ask for their opinion. The dog will probably accept it unquestioningly. A person is more of a challenge.
- Joining a public speaking group is a good move if you know you will be giving more speeches in the future.
- Exercise before giving your presentation. A short walk or some knee bends. This gets your blood circulating and oxygen to the brain. This is a powerful tip. Don’t ignore it.
- Use Powerpoint but do not read from slides. Just have the main points listed.
- Remember everyone even the most experienced speakers suffer some level of anxiety. You can learn to manage it by being thoroughly prepared and plenty of practice.
- Sip warm water before speaking. Can add lemon juice but nothing sweet.
- Make sure you care about the subject. It will show and be appreciated.
- Make sure you focus on the material you are presenting. Don’t be concerned about the audience reaction unless they are booing you off stage. Ignore the yawn and person gazing at their phone.
- Relax and don’t tell yourself how afraid you are of public speaking. Meditate. It allows you to clear your head of negative thoughts.
- Pace your speech. Slow down. Don’t talk too fast.
- Don’t be your own worst enemy by criticising yourself. Instead, make notes and plan to improve.
- Learn your speech by heart. Note any ‘ums’ and practise eliminating them.
- Pause throughout your speech. Dramatic pauses are powerful. The will help you control your emotions and gives the audience time to refocus.
Writing and presenting to an audience is an art you can master. It does take practice.
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If you would like support to prepare your presentation please contact me for a no obligation discussion.