Public Speaking with Ease

Even the best businessmen would rattle their knees at the thought of speaking in front of an audience, whether it is a roomful of employees or rows upon rows of industry colleagues.  If you have a fear of speaking publicly, there are many ways to overcome your anxieties and position yourself as an expert in your area of business.

Start practicing

Even if you are not yet invited to speak in front of a graduating class, there is no better time to practice your public speaking skills but now.  Find a few friends and family members whom you would practice on.  From speaking in front of small groups of familiar people, work your way up to a group of employees as they listen to your weekly huddles.  Remember that the number of people in the audience makes no difference.

Prepare yourself

Know your material.  You need to have the knowledge and the confidence on what you are talking about so that you would not appear lost during delivery.  Rehearse several times before getting onto the podium.

Avoid memorizing

Being able to speak publicly is not about memorizing every word written in your entire speech, rather it is important to remember key points and prompts on subtopics, as well as what examples to cover.

Avoid bullet points

If you are planning to present your speech while showing a bunch of PowerPoint slides, you would have a more power speech if you do ditch the bullets and avoid putting what you are about to say in each slide.  Take the approach of using visuals instead to convey your message at a much faster rate.

Breathe deeply

Minutes before your stage entrance, reduce your nerves and stress by visualizing positive thoughts and breathing deeply from your abdomen.

Find a familiar face

Before introducing yourself, find people in the audience whom you are familiar with such as a friend, family member, or a trusted colleague.  This would ease your nerves and be able to connect with your audience.

Engage the audience

Create a speech that not only informs that audience, but also entertains them.  Make it as interactive as possible with questions and audience participation.

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