Does public speaking leave you speechless—and not in a good way? There is so much that can go wrong. But with a few public speaking tips, you can get your mind to focus on everything that can go right.
This guide will teach you how to speak with confidence, control your nervousness, get your point across, and leave a good impression. Whether you have a mild fear of public speaking or severe anxiety, there’s something for everyone here.
- What Does Public Speaking Anxiety Look Like?
- Why You Need to Know these Public Speaking Tips
- Step-by-Step Instruction for a Successful Presentation
- Other Good Public Speaking Skills to Use During a Presentation
What Does Public Speaking Anxiety Look Like?
Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is like a brain freeze caused by speaking in front of a group of people. According to the American Psychiatric Association, severe glossophobia is a mental illness.
While some people feel slightly nervous before presenting, others might experience full-blown panic. Other symptoms of glossophobia include speaking too fast, dry mouth, difficulty breathing, going blank, stuttering, and shaking.
Do you have nausea at the thought of presenting in front of a group of people or excessive sweating before or during a presentation? Does the thought of public speaking give you overwhelming terror that disrupts your ability to think, talk or move? Then you are probably struggling with glossophobia.
Why You Need to Know these Public Speaking Tips
Most people struggling with glossophobia tend to avoid public speaking at all costs because of how uncomfortable it makes them. And those who do show up fail to perform well. They may make awkward and nervous gestures, blink too rapidly, or trip over their own feet. They may forget everything they were going to say, fail to build a direct connection with their audience, or throw up at the sight of the stage. If you want to avoid adding a dozen such memories to your life, you have to master a few essential public speaking skills.
Public speaking skills can help you advance your career, improve your leadership skills, and build stronger connections.
- You need them to persuade your team members or clients to accept your proposals.
- They force you to think before speaking, thereby avoiding unnecessary conflicts with a colleague or a family member.
- Once you learn how to overcome your hesitation, you’ll gain greater confidence and radiate charisma naturally.
The following instructions have been designed to provide immediate support to anyone who has a presentation approaching fast.
Step-by-Step Instruction for a Successful Presentation
A good public speaker has an iron grip on their topic. That’s one of the most important public speaking tips you can focus on. Don’t waste your time looking up ways to grab your audience’s attention. When you speak to the point and have quality information to offer, people will listen.
So here’s what you need to do:
- Outline and understand your ideas.
- Practice delivering the speech beforehand.
- Stay on course and don’t worry about who’s sleeping.
Take a few deep breaths and get moving! There are only 3 steps to the perfect presentation.
Outline and Understand Your Ideas
You can grab the audience’s attention through a few jokes at the beginning of your speech, but to keep attention you have to craft and understand your content well. Prepared speeches also induce greater confidence, since you know the audience will perceive your points well. Watch a few experts and take inspiration from their strategies.
Learn about your topic, look up things till you can explain it all to a five-year-old, and find similarities and connections with past knowledge and other areas. Add a personal touch to the story. Write it down and arrange it properly. Researching and organizing your findings are important skills, too.
It’s okay to feel nervous despite your preparation. As long as you have the concepts at your fingertips, you can summon them back when the stress wipes your mind clean. The outline will serve as an excellent advantage here, so keep it with you at all times.
Practice Delivering the Speech Beforehand
Presentation skills are not learned overnight. You have to practice before the presentation. You can do it in front of a mirror or with a friend. Start with a few close friends and ask them for feedback. You can also record yourself and check if you speak at the right pace.
Also practice moving in a confident posture, strengthening your body language, and maintaining eye contact. Record and review videos of yourself. Don’t practice alone. You have to expose yourself to a triggering environment to learn your strengths and weaknesses. Look up speakers who inspire you and try to follow their strategies.
If your anticipation anxiety keeps interfering with your practice, then look up the 8 emotion-focused coping tips to practice every day. They will help you stay calm and enhance your concentration. The earlier you try them, the better. You’ll know which ones work for you.
Stay on Course and Don’t Worry About Who’s Sleeping
The goal of the presentation is to get your message across as clearly as possible, not keep everyone awake. A few audience interactions here and there are sufficient. Crack a joke or ask questions, but not too frequently.
A well-structured and informative topic is the strongest attention grabber. That said, focus on presenting your material. Your voice should not be too plain or too flamboyant. Maintain a steady pace. Pause to check if your audience is keeping up.
The best speakers summarize their headings before moving on to the next ones. Consult your notes to track your main points.
Other Good Public Speaking Skills to Use During a Presentation
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. A seasoned public speaker doesn’t always do everything perfectly. Most of the time, your audience will sympathize with you. After all, more than half the world’s population has experienced glossophobia. So if something happens during your speech, laugh it off, it’s fine. Apologize when needed, and pick yourself back up.
Choose honesty. When someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, admit it. Honesty creates a strong and direct connection with your audience. It tells them that they can trust you.
If you experience an anxiety attack or start trembling and stuttering, communicate to your listeners that it is so. It will make you and the people feel more comfortable. You don’t have to do this for every speech, only till you get better at public speaking.
Dealing with Glitches and Blunders
Unfortunately, no technology is foolproof. Glitches happen. The best way to survive during a presentation is by coming prepared. Look up how successful speakers deal with them. Give your audience a copy of your outline so that they have something to guide them. And, as mentioned earlier, don’t just watch silently. Connect with your audience outside of your speech, as well.
Blunders are human errors, like stuttering, forgetting, or freezing. During the speech, you should have your outline with you. It will remind you what you were talking about. You can also ask your listeners for help. A simple, “I got sidetracked for a while there. Where was I?” would suffice.
Although glitches and blunders are not predictable, you can take a few measures to prevent them and learn how to deal with them better. Double-check all equipment before your speech, have backups, and practice in real-time frequently. To prevent blunders, practice meditation and intellectual wellness, take care of your body, and seek therapy if your anxiety is severe. Keep the outline in front of you for an extra advantage.
Learning how to overcome your public speaking fear is not rocket science. The real challenge is putting that knowledge into practice. Avoiding it is very tempting. But the more often you face it, the less often you’ll fear it. Once you start following these public speaking tips, your improvements will influence every area of your life! Start with one step today.