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Tips on Public Speaking for Nervous Speakers

By Edited Jun 22, 2015 1 1

It seems that everyone and their cousin is quick to give you tips on public speaking. The problem is, they are likely just repeating useless platitudes. Some people find speaking in front of others easy. You don't want their advice because they don't understand how nervous you feel. Others who want to give you advice don't actually do any public speaking, so they aren't the best people to ask either. And no matter who is giving you advice, information alone won't make your public speaking fear go away. Those fears you have come from within. Your audience will never judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. They just care about getting the information and most would be terrified to be the ones doing the speaking. These tips on public speaking may not make you a rock star public speaker, but they will help you relax and do your best.

The number one tip I can give you is to know your topic inside and out. Don't just memorize the speech you are going to give. Read as much as you can about the topic before it is speech day. Be ready to answer all the questions that someone might ask. In addition to knowing your speech by heart, you should know enough in general that you would be able to have an intelligent conversation about the topic. Nothing will give you more confidence than this knowledge. It will help calm and center you.

The next tip is to connect with the audience before you start speaking. If possible, greet everyone that comes in. You will become more confident if you are familiar with the crowd. Since most of the fear is fear of the unknown, knowing who is listening to you will ease your worries. This is also a great way to take your mind off of your upcoming speech. Now is not the time for last minute cramming. You know your speech and pacing back and forth and practicing will only increase your anxiety now.

The third tip on public speaking is to not take your advice from sitcoms. Imaging that everyone is in their underwear won't make you more confident. Instead, pick out a friendly face and imagine that you are speaking directly to them.

The fourth piece of advice is dealing with the umms and uhhs that are probably plaguing your speech. If you find that you are losing the message because you keep saying um, repeat your sentence. Instead of ums, use silence to accentuate your points.

The final tip is to be animated. It truly is not just what you say but how you say it. Don't be afraid to use your entire body to communicate with. Now, I'm not saying that you should flail around. But don't be stiff. It's natural to use gestures, so incorporate them into your speech.

If you follow these public speaking tips each time you get up in front of others, you'll find that you are constantly becoming better and more confident. Don't let job promotions pass you by because you are too afraid to give a speech. It's even possible that you will begin to enjoy it. If you want to practice these ideas in a comfortable environment, consider joining the Toastmasters.



Aug 7, 2010 3:19pm
I could add a few things there too, if you don't mind.

Talk slightly slower than normal. Keep hands visible and make eye contact with everyone.

This is another excellent article. Good advice and well organised. Do you ever visit the forum BTW? You should.
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