Up to 75% of us share an anxiety around public speaking. Even the most confident people can turn into an embarrassed, anxious mess when they take the stage. Whilst the audience can almost never tell just how anxious the speaker is, it can be an exhausting and scary process if you don't have the right processes in place to make your public speech as smooth as possible. Here are 5 tips, created by public speaking coaches, to help you feel more confident when you have publicly speak. Hopefully, after reading these tips and incorporating them into your public speaking affairs, you might even begin to enjoy it!
1. Know your content inside out
This doesn't mean learn your speech off by heart but instead memorise your key points and core remarks. Do a couple of run-throughs in your head before you speak and remember to stay focused on impact as opposed to the minute details of your speech. You should be asking yourself, how you want your audience to feel after your speech?
2. Be yourself
If you're funny, then be funny but if you're not, don't force it. The most engaging speakers inject some humanity into their speech. People respond well, to genuine even humble speakers who focus on the knowledge and not on their personal ego points. Rather than a performance see it as sharing your ideas and experiences to help others.
3. Don't look for approval focus on contributing
If you focus on I want to be good, then you will stay inwardly focused. Instead, think about helping the audience to see something differently or hear a great piece of advice that helped you along your journey. Instead of thinking 'I hope they like me' focus on 'did I have an impact?"
4. Practice makes perfect
The more you speak the more comfortable you get with speaking. Start with practicing in front of family and friends and then start pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and putting yourself forward to all available public speaking opportunities. Without practice you'll never beat the public speaking jitters. The good news is that it won't take you long to feel comfortable with public speaking if you're getting enough exposure - you'll soon start to realise that it's not all that bad.
5. Video yourself
Write a speech and film yourself delivering it. You will be surprised about how many things you might want to change and how many things you like. Watching yourself helps you to fix, distracting hand movements or long 'ummms' whilst you're on the stage as it increases your self-awareness.