Speaking In Public

Speaking before a group of people is one of the most common fears many people face.  At some time in your life you will be faced with the challenge of speaking in public.  It may just be a simple toast at a friend’s wedding.  You may have to make a presentation to a class when you are attending school.  You may be required to give an oral presentation for a promotion.  You may need to stand up and be challenged by a group of interviewers.  You may need to make a speech or give a business presentation.  Whatever the reason, it will be easier if you can get over your fear of speaking in public.  Speaking in public can be either a good or bad experience for the speaker.  Practice will help you to overcome this fear.  The key to overcoming your fear is to face your fear, master your material, and rehearse.

If you are someone who is terrified about speaking before a group of people it may help to think of something that will make the audience seem less intimidating.  Perhaps it will help if in your mind’s eye everyone in the audience is in underwear or is wearing a fake moustache.  Whatever makes you feel more at ease.  Keep in mind that the audience is not there to be critical of you.

First you want to be thoroughly prepared to answer any unexpected questions that may occur from your presentation.  This means you need to be very well versed in the subject you are covering.  If you know your subject material very well you will be much more comfortable talking about it.

Make notes to which you can refer outlining your speech and highlighting bits of information you think will be major points of interest to your audience.  If it is needed develop a slide presentation or a power point presentation to make your presentation more informative and interesting.  You may want to include some photographs and/or charts that will be informative.

When you are delivering a speech you want to be aware of the time you speak.  When you are practicing go through your entire speech and note how long it takes.  It is a good idea to record your speech so you can critique your voice and determine where you should put more or less emphasis.

If it is possible you may want to have a friend video your speech rehearsal so you can get a good idea of the image you are projecting.  You may need to make some adjustments.  If a video is not possible practice your speech in front of a mirror so you can see how you are doing.

On the day of your speech arrive at the venue ahead of time so you can check things out.  You will feel more comfortable if you are familiar with the place.   If there is a rostrum, stand behind it to be sure it is the proper height.  If there is any equipment to be used check to be sure it is in proper order.

Remember the old adage that practice makes perfect.  It is very important to rehearse before you are scheduled to deliver that all important oral presentative.  Practice will help reduce your stress and anxiety when you are required to speak in public.

International group of Business people in a meeting.

International group of Business people in a meeting.