Many people around the world are simply terrified of public speaking. They are afraid of standing up in front of a roomful of people to make a speech or presentation. Studies indicate that we are more afraid of public speaking than we are of death. For some professionals, public speaking is necessary. Examples of these are politicians, lecturers and entrepreneurs. If you want to pursue these careers and you are afraid of public speaking, don't worry. Here are 25 powerful ways to become a better public speaker.
1. Educate yourself
There are classes that you can take to improve your knowledge of public speaking and get rid of the associated anxiety. These classes are available in colleges and community centers. By taking them, you can learn helpful techniques on how to speak in front of an audience. This will make you a better public speaker.
2. Practice makes perfect
The best thing about public speaking is that you can practice literally anywhere. You don't have to be in front of an audience to do this. You can practice this skill when you are alone by standing in front of a mirror and going over your statements and movements. You can also practice by standing in front of family or friends and giving presentations. This builds confidence and makes you a better public speaker.
3. Prepare your presentation beforehand
Every public speaker experiences some anxiety when they stand up in front of an audience to give a presentation. According to famous author Mark Twain, there are two types of public speakers, those who are nervous and those who lie about it. Do you always feel anxious before making a public presentation? Here is how you can get rid of it. Perform extensive research for your speech. Also, memorize the major parts of your presentation so that they can feel natural. This will make you a better public speaker.
4. Know your audience
It is very helpful to research your audience. In this way, you know what they expect to hear and how they will relate to it. Take time to learn about them and prepare your speech accordingly. This increases your rate of success as a public speaker.
5. Use appropriate tools
One of the most helpful tools for presenting is Microsoft PowerPoint. We use it in literally all our presentations. If you use it properly, it can help you to keep your speech gripping, interesting and ultimately entertaining. Mastering the use of such a tool can make you a better public speaker.
6. Familiarize yourself with the stage
We communicate better in an environment where we feel comfortable. As such, you can take some time to visit your stage and familiarize yourself with it. Learn its expanse and practice the body language that you will use. Dedicate specific parts of the stage to major talking points in your speech. This will help you to become a better public speaker.
7. Observe how professionals give their speeches
You can only get better by observing those who are better than you. Make time to attend conferences, workshops and other locations where there are public speakers. Look at how they present and spot their techniques. After that, apply them in your own speeches. This will definitely make you a better public speaker.
8. Start on a high note
Set a high bar for the rest of your speech by beginning on a high note. This can be done with an interesting story or a joke. This will help you to relax. It will also create a rapport between you and your audience. In this way, they become more receptive to you and your content.
9. Engage your audience
There is always a lot of pressure on us when we make a speech or presentation in public. You can reduce it by engaging your audience. Have them perform an exercise with you or share their own stories. This will make your speech interesting and make you a better public speaker.
10. Encourage questions from your audience
As you make your speech, the audience members will definitely have some questions for you. You can make them more willing to ask these questions by having rewards for those who participate. In this way, you can interact better with your audience.
11. Be excited about your content
When you have sincere enthusiasm for your speech or presentation, it will radiate from you right into your audience. It will eliminate any nervous feelings that you could have. One trick to get rid of anxiety is to label it as excitement. This helps you to become more relaxed and enthusiastic when you are speaking. In this way, you can become a better public speaker.
12. Be authentic
We all try to be perfect when speaking in front of an audience. Thus, we prepare a perfect speech and a solid plan to impress our audience. This is well and good but we should also strive to be ourselves. Defeat your anxiety by expressing your true personality as you present. In this way, you emerge as more charismatic and confident. This makes you a better public speaker.