The fear of public speaking is the most common of all phobias. Glossophobia, or a fear of public speaking, is believed to affect up to 75% of the population. Some individuals may feel a slight nervousness at the very thought of public speaking, while others experience a panic attack while speaking.
In this guest blog, professional public speaker Louise Camby explains her vital public speaking tips to overcome your anxiety and make you a better public speaker and transform your presentations.
“The best way to avoid most mistakes is to prepare thoroughly, practice and test your presentation and arrive early to ensure you are set up and all audio and visual equipment is working properly.”
– Louise Camby
The main trick to sounding confident even when you might be feeling nervous, is to speak clearly and slowly and to make sure you have plenty of appropriate pauses during your presentation or speech. This in turn helps with the most important thing, which is breathing and breath control.
The places for pauses vary depending on the content of your talk. For example:
You need to give the audience time to digest the information you are giving them and retain their concentration and attention.
Having a good command of the English language is a valuable skill that not many people possess. But with plenty of preparation you can find the right words to suit you and your presentation subject to help you communicate your message effectively and clearly. Speaking the Queen’s English and using the correct pronouns shows your knowledge of the correct grammar. Speaking concisely and with clarity will give an impression to your audience that you are confident even if you are feeling nervous.
So, how do you if you are nervous?
Number one: Breath control. Taking deep breaths lowers your heart rate and helps to calm nerves. It helps to slow you down and therefore gives your brain a chance to think and focus. When you are nervous your brain can go blank and that is the last thing you want to happen!
Number two: Eye contact. Making eye contact with the audience is critical for keeping their attention and engagement in your presentation and by doing this you also give the impression of being in control and confident.
Number three: Belief in the content of your presentation – your knowledge and knowing you are the expert in the room are the things you should focus on. By focusing on this it will give you more confidence in yourself and the presentation.
The most common issue is people avoid the opportunity of speaking in public because they lack confidence in themselves. It is such a valuable skill to have and a great benefit to your business when you master it, and maximize the many opportunities that are out there to promote your business.
My number one tip would be to invest some money in yourself by attending a short workshop which will help you overcome the fear and gain skills in public speaking. My colleague and I run half day affordable workshops on this subject and have help many people either in business or having to deliver a speech at a wedding. For more information on our forthcoming workshops please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appearing confident takes more than one thing really. High pressured situations can vary from ones where you are under a time constraint or another where the audience is very high powered and knowledgeable.
If you do have a limited time to present then it is key to practice and rehearse and time yourself. If you know that your audience is knowledgeable then focusing on the content and making sure it is going to inform and educate your audience beyond their current knowledge level.
Extra to previous tips (see question 3), I would say another tip is to ensure you feel good about yourself, your appearance and the look and feel of your presentation. Does it look professional, clean and on brand? Do you have smart visual aids to help support your message?
Extremely important. It’s rightly said that you can’t get inflections of speech in written messages so this proves how important our voices are. The same sentence can mean different things depending on the tone it is said in and emphasis placed on different words. Emotion can be expressed through the tone of our voice, pitch, speed and of course the pauses and silence.
There are of course many mistakes – some can be more embarrassing than others. The best way to avoid most mistakes is to prepare thoroughly, practice and test your presentation and arrive early to ensure you are set up and all audio and visual equipment is working properly.
Always test your presentation again once you are at the venue in case any audio or video files disappear and to ensure the volume is correct.
For example, it is important to look at your set up and ensure that you do not walk across the projector light as you will form a shadow over your presentation and the content will now be appearing on your body. I have seen this terrible mistake too many times and it’s a big distraction for the audience and makes the presenter look very unprofessional and oblivious to their surroundings and set up.
Louise has been public speaking since 2001 when she worked for a Tour Operator and trained travel agents both at home and on educational trips abroad. Louise started working for herself in January 2006 and was able to maximise her networking by making the most of the public speaking opportunities. Along with being on the professional public speaking circuit giving talks on the health benefits of Aloe Vera, The Bees and products from the hive and CBD (legal cannabis). Louise runs public speaking workshops and is a voice over artist.
Louise also helps manage the family music business based around her Grandfather Johnny Douglas who wrote the music to the 1971 film The Railway Children. She also has many hobbies including snooker, cycling, skiing, travelling, theatre and cinema, amateur dramatics and socializing. Recently she started playing football and is enjoying the fitness and fun that comes with playing this team sport and taking part in women’s football festiva
Do You Want to Level Up Your Public Speaking Skills?
Speaking in public is a challenge for everyone of us, but with the right techniques and practice, things can become much easier. I can empower you to be your most confident self in front of your audience, and keep you on top while all eyes are on you.
As a life coach, I want to support you with tips and techniques to become confident and in control when speaking in public, or in any other environment you want to be heard.
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This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
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