Does your heart skip a beat, your stomach filling with butterflies, and your mind goes blank, whenever you are asked to speak in public? Fret not! There are many ways to tackle this anxiety and learn to deliver a memorable speech. In this article, we will share the 5 practical tips to improve your public speaking skills (you are welcome 😊)
1. Be Prepared and Use Visual Aids Wisely
The most important part of a successful presentation happens before you even start talking. Once you do begin speaking, you will be thankful for your fastidious preparation and practice.
If you are using presentation slides, then make the most of them. More than just being functional, the slides should be clutter-free and aesthetically pleasing to keep your audience engaged from start to finish. More importantly, allow your audience to comprehend the information you communicate with them. A professionally crafted and engaging presentation slides empower you to ace those important presentations and achieve the success you want.
If there are any difficult to pronounce words or technical jargon, then make sure you pronounce it correctly. The correct pronunciation and knowledge of industry language will give you the confidence and credibility.
2. Nervousness is Normal. Practice and Rehearse!
All people feel some physiological reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands. Do not associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself. Some nerves are good. The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance.
The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Considering both the conscious and sub-conscious decision-making processes as well as the inner neurological motivations of people, the use of NLP techniques and strategies in business presentations have been proven to help presenters engage and connect with their audience more easily, thereby influencing them. Learn how you could finally overcome your nerves during presentations and become a more confident and competent presenter.
3. Make Eye Contact with Audience and Command the Space
Communication is much more about tone and body language than the words we say. The words of course matter, but emphasis comes with movement and body language. The right physical communication can have a profound impact on how your message is received and interpreted. Avoid crossing your arms, clasping your hands behind or in front of your body or hands in pockets. Don’t fiddle with anything. Keep your hands free for expressive gesticulation.
The more you project confidence, the more confident you are likely to feel. Get out there and own the room. Even if you are terrified. Fake it. Look people in the eye (but not for too long! You don’t want to appear creepy) and command their attention. This tactic not only creates a deeper connection with individuals but the entire audience.
4. Use Humour and Tell Stories
Inject a funny anecdote in your presentation, and you will certainly grab your audience’s attention. Audiences generally like a personal touch in a speech. A story can provide that.
Storytelling is a crucial skill that has benefited thousands successful leaders to connect, engage and inspire the stakeholders in their life and career. A clearly articulated story communicates effectively and make us feel emotionally connected through meaningful moments. Powerful stories move people and lead to action. It sticks in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts.
5. Watch for Feedback and Adapt to It
Keep the focus on the audience. Gauge their reactions, adjust your message, and stay flexible. Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners.
Speaking off-the-cuff is about training your mind to transfer your thinking and feelings into words in double quick time. It is about training yourself to express your opinions, present information or provide suggestions, at lightning speed, under pressure, but still maintaining your cool and projecting a calm and controlled demeanour. Learn powerful techniques for collecting your thoughts quickly and speaking convincingly in public. Once you master the system, you will grow immensely as a public speaker.
Embrace the Challenge and Learn from Your Mistakes (and Successes)
Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect. Every time you give a presentation, take some time afterwards to think about what worked and what failed. If it went well, consider what made it go well. If it went badly, analyse where and how it went wrong so that next time you can change your strategy and ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
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