The fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world and many either ignore it or choose to try and make themselves a better public speaker.
According to Harvard blog post by Marjorie Lee North, a consultant for a variety of people, runs her very own private practice which specializes in public speaking and communication skills. She was also a clinical director in speech and language pathology, North provides 10 Tips for Public Speaking (North, 2017). Her 10 tips are:
- Nervousness is Normal. Practice and Prepare!
- Know your Audience. Your Speech is about them, not you.
- Organise your material in the most effective manner to attain your purpose.
- Watch for Feedback and adapt to it.
- Let your personality come through
- Use humour, tell stories and use effective language.
- Don’t read unless you have to. Work from an Outline.
- Use your voice and hands effectively. Omit nervous gestures
- Grab attention at the beginning, and close with a dynamic end.
- Use audiovisual aids wisely.
North goes into further detail in each of the topics of her blog but these points are her main, top 10 tips for public speaking.
Another problem with public speaking is performance anxiety or, as it is better known, ‘stage fright’. Both musicians, actors, performers and public speakers alike can all suffer from stage fright but there are ways to cope with it. Performance anxiety is a physical reaction in the body and so the best way to research how you can prepare your body physically before a performance or presentation. Some small ways are to “Practice controlled breathing, meditation, biofeedback, and other strategies to help you relax and redirect your thoughts when they turn negative. It is best to practice some type of relaxation technique every day, regardless of whether you have a performance, so that the skill is there for you when you need it.” (“Overcoming Performance Anxiety in Music, Acting, Sports, and More”, n.d.) and also mentioned on the same article are to limit the amount of caffeine before a presentation and many more helpful tips and exercises.
With help from a variety if online sources, you can become a pro at public speaking and overcome performance anxiety to really impress and successfully gain the attention of the audience.
North, M. (2017). 10 Tips for Improving your public speaking skills. Harvard University Blog. Retrieved from https://www.extension.harvard.edu/professional-development/blog/10-tips-improving-your-public-speaking-skills
Overcoming Performance Anxiety in Music, Acting, Sports, and More. WebMD. Retrieved May 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/stage-fright-performance-anxiety#1