Public speaking is unavoidable. Some people are naturals at it, but most of us have to learn and perfect our public speaking skills through practice. Whether it be in front of a small group of executives, or a lecture room full of hundreds of people, chances are you’ll be put in a position at some point in your career where you need to give a presentation to an audience. Almost any type of job will require speaking in front of people, which makes public speaking a critical skill in today’s world. If you’re finding yourself nervous going into a presentation, start with these 5 simple tips, and we guarantee you will crush it and work towards eliminating any potential nerves in the future!
Feel confident and informed on what you have to say. Confidence always radiates, especially when you’re in a position where all eyes are on you. Choose a topic that you feel passionate about, and feel like you can answer anything on. Take the time to learn as much as you can about it, and when you have that knowledge, your audience will be able to tell by how you present yourself. Just remember, more often than not, the audience wants to learn about what you are saying!
Use your energy. Be ready to raise your voice. Speak loud and clear. Walk around a little. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and use hand gestures or tonal changes in your voice – the best way to publicly speak is to mirror how you normally speak and act. If you go into the presentation thinking you need to stand perfectly still or can’t let out so much as one “um,” you will end up much more nervous than necessary. It’s okay to loosen up and make the presentation feel natural and casual. This will keep listeners engaged!
Practice practice practice! Going into a presentation prepared on what you want to say will most definitely ease your nerves. You can never practice too much for a presentation; every extra rehearsal will help to make you feel more comfortable. Pro-tip: Try recording yourself giving your presentation! As uncomfortable as it may be to watch yourself, it will be so much easier to point out where you could improve on body language or speech when you actually see yourself present.
Know Your Audience. Know what your audience is expecting, what they already know, and what they want to learn. Studying your audience beforehand will make it much easier to talk to them throughout the presentation; it will help reassure you that they are there to learn from you and not to intimidate you. This will also help your presentation feel much more conversational. You don’t have to feel like you are lecturing to your audience, just think of it as simply talking to them.
Dress the part. Generally, this would mean business casual attire or professional attire. This is a simple tactic that can make a world of a difference. If you look your best, you will feel your best, and that’s a fact. It all goes back to confidence and feeling like your most self-assured and positive self. When coupled with the previous four tips, you’ve built yourself a recipe for public speaking success!
For more personal and professional tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help you be your best self, on or off the stage!