Public Speaking

The fear of public speaking is usually due to the fear of failure or of looking ignorant in front of a group of your peers.

However, public speaking is an essential skill for all career minded people. Becoming a good public speaker will help your career progress. If you lack in this area, you are likely to be held back and overlooked for promotion.

The reason for this is simple. If you are unable to speak well, you may not give the right impression of the business you represent.

You can improve your public speaking skills with the following tips:

Make Your Points Loud and Clear

You should never have your speech written down! If you do, you are likely to tightly stick to it and be panicked by any question that takes you off topic. It is also highly likely that you will simply read your speech and appear rigid.

Your audience will not be able to interact or feel like they are a part of the speech, and you will quickly lose them. Instead, it would be wise to have bullet points highlighting the key points you wish to make.

Practice

Know your information by practicing your speech over and over again. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be that you know your subject and can handle any question. You should use your bullet points to make sure your speech flows perfectly.

Visualization

The worst moment is often when you are about to start speaking and you freeze through fear. All eyes are on you! In fact, this moment can be used to inspire and show your confidence. Before starting to speak, take a moment to look round the room.

The pause suggests confidence to your audience and gives you a moment to assess your audience. You then need to visualize them looking forward to what you have to say before you start to speak. You will be surprised at how confident this makes you feel.

Use the Audience

The fastest way to lose an audience is to simply preach at them. Instead, ask them a few questions along the way, or tell a short story which they can all relate to. In the first instance you will be relieving the pressure from yourself for a few moments.

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Audience

You will also be forcing them to stay focused on you and listening to what they have to say. It also allows you to deliver a story you are extremely familiar with and to tell it in a very relaxed way, this will guarantee their interest.

Expertise

There is a reason why you are the one that has been asked to give the speech; you are the one that knows the most about the subject. The audience is there to learn from you. They will assume you know more than they do. If you have researched the subject extensively, you should be comfortable discussing your own thoughts and feelings.

If someone asks a question that you cannot answer, do not try to wing it. Simply concede that it is a good point and you will look into it. Being prepared will prevent you from getting panicked in the unlikely instance that it actually happens.

The fear of making a mistake keeps you from delivering an excellent speech.

Finally, everyone makes mistakes. No matter how good you are at public speaking or how well you know a subject. There are two options if you do. One is simply to carry on, as it is  unlikely that anyone will even notice. The second is to make a joke out of it. Show your human side and allow your audience to relate to you.

Being yourself is critical when it comes down to becoming a confident public speaker.

Don’t let your lack of experience or fear hold you back, and walk on that stage with great confidence. Make sure your presentation is clear for everyone, and you’ll surely get their utmost respect.

How Do You Improve Your Public Speaking?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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William Taylor
William Taylor is a regular contributor to many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. He also writes for http://www.londonspeakerbureau.com/ which is an advisory network.
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