Public speaking skills are an integral part of a great number of jobs and those professionals who want to succeed in climbing the career ladder absolutely need to master this skill.
However, professionals are not the only ones who have to be good public speakers. More and more students around the world have to do presentations in front of crowds as part of their education.
So it seems like no matter who you are you can’t escape from public speaking skills.
Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the most common phobias in the world.
If you are a student, giving presentations in front of your fellow classmates is also one of the things you will definitely need to master in university or polytechnic. It is an important skill you simply cannot do without.
In this article, we will give you tips on how to overcome your fear of public speaking Skills and improve this skill so that it doesn’t stand in the way of you achieving your life goals.
1. Let The Nervousness Wash Over You
People who fear public speaking Skills cannot control themselves sometimes. Even the thought of performing in front of a crowd makes their hands tremble and their hearts pound faster.
The mistake they make is they try to ignore these feelings or deny their existence, but that rarely seems to work.
Instead, try an alternative approach; acknowledge that you are feeling nervous and ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?
This speech you are about to give is probably not a matter of life and death so even if the worst-case scenario comes true you will get over it.
Try to imagine what you are going to do after your presentation is over. You will probably go out for a coffee with friends who care for you, buy tickets to your favorite sporting event, etc. Life will go on as normal after your speech is done.
2. Know Your Audience
It is imperative to do some basic research about your audience before you speak in front of them. You don’t have to find out who each individual is, of course, but it is useful to have a rough outline of their collective background. Are they students of the same faculty, for example? Are they all of a similar age? Once you have an idea of who your audience is you will be able to tailor your presentation for them which will make it more successful.
3. There is No Failure, It is All Just Feedback
Some people are afraid of public speaking because they are perfectionists and they want everything to go excellently from their very first try.
Unfortunately when it comes to public speaking the best way to get good at it is through trial and error which includes listening to and analyzing feedback.
You will get better the more you do it, but only if you are not too proud to listen to constructive criticism.
Watch the faces of your audience, if they seem bored that is an indication that you need to pick up the pace a bit and perhaps be more energetic in the future.
Ask somebody more experienced than you to give you their honest opinion about your presentation and do not get hurt or demotivated when they do.
Realizing that nobody is perfect and willing to work on yourself is the only way to improve.
4. Organizing Your Material is Key
When it comes to public speaking it is never a good idea to just wing it. You need to prepare everything days in advance, check and double-check your speech for any errors, make sure that all the equipment works, and if necessary prepare handouts for the audience so that they can follow the story better. Preparation and organization are half the job done.
But be careful not to overdo it, because if you just memorize your entire speech by heart and regurgitate it to your audience you will appear robotic and boring, and if you make the tiniest mistake you will panic.
So, in general, follow the plan but do not spend your time obsessing over every detail.
5. Use Humor And Personal Anecdotes
If you have a naturally good sense of humor now is the time to use it to your advantage. Injecting an occasional humorous anecdote from your own life into your presentation will break the monotony and make the audience more pleasantly disposed towards you.
Feeling this positive energy coming from the audience will in turn make you relax and the rest of your presentation will go smoother.
But be sure to choose your anecdote carefully lest it offends anyone.
6. Do Not Read Your Speech From a Piece of Paper
Nowadays most public speaking events have access to a projector and PowerPoint so there is really no need to create flashcards since you can just look at the screen to remind yourself what to talk about.
Sometimes people who are afraid of public speaking fear making a mistake in their speech so much that they spend their entire presentation time reading from a sheet of paper which is, of course, a big mistake making.
Not only does it make you appear unprepared and make your speech sound mechanical, but it also prevents you from engaging with the audience and making eye contact with them.
If you have spent a sufficient amount of time preparing at home then you probably know your speech inside out. So trust yourself that you will be able to remember it and look at your audience when you talk to them instead of looking down your skills.
7. Be More Interactive
If you are a tertiary student, then you would have encountered plenty of lecturers who read the whole lecture to them throughout the entire module in the whole semester; they do not need to sit through your private presentation or lecture as well.
Instead of just throwing hard facts and figures into their faces for 30 minutes, you have to think of a way on how to make your presentation interactive.
There are a few ways to do this. You can ask your fellow classmates a question in the middle of your presentation to make sure that they have retained the information you gave them.
Or you might ask them to guess an item or figure which you have not revealed yet. You can also encourage them to ask questions about the points of their interest or about the points they have not fully understood.
If your classmates know that they can interact with you they are more likely to pay attention and they are also more likely to understand the information they received and mark.
These are some of the top tips that will make your public speaking skills better. If you need assistance, you can get a professional tutor to help you improve your English speaking skills and oral presentation at this website: Tutorcity
Just keep your nerves under control, make sure to prepare in advance, and while talking to your audience be as entertaining as your speech allows you. And If you stay consistent in following these tips I am confident that your public speaking skills will improve greatly over time.