Improve your public speaking

SilentWriter By SilentWriter, 18th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Management

Do you wish that you were better at public speaking?

A few hints and tips to get you started!

If you’re in school, college, university or employment, presentations and speeches are usually a part of life which we all have to cope with, but many of us actually dread. If you use some of these simple tips, they will help you to become a lot better at it, and will help you to feel confident with your own performance.

Nerves:

If you’re nervous, you’re not going to perform at your best. The best thing to do is to rehearse your speech as much as you can so that you know it can go well, and you will gain confidence by doing this. Also, on the day you are due to give your speech, if you feel yourself becoming nervous, take some deep breaths, breathing in for six seconds, holding your breath for six seconds then breathing out slowly for twelve seconds. This should slow down your heartrate and therefore make you much less nervous. Nerves are natural though, and you wouldn’t be able to perform at your best without them.

Preparation:

The best way to perform at your best is to over prepare. Write your speech and rehearse it in several conditions, including a few with music playing or other background noise. That way, you will know that you can still deliver your speech with other distractions that you might come across on the day that you hadn’t planned for.

Visual Aids:

With any speech or presentation, the audience needs something to look at as well as something to listen to. This can either be handouts or a computer slideshow. Either way, don’t fall into the trap or simply displaying what you’re going to say, word for word. Better speeches will includes pictures of what you’re trying to descibe, or maybe small bullet points for people to have a look at. If you provide these at the end of your presentation, people will then be able to contact you with any questions that they might have had during the speech.

Body Language:

When people are nervous, they tend to either play with their hair, jewellery or clothing. To prevent yourself from doing this, try to keep your hands occupied with hand gestures. These must be pre-planned so that you don’t end up overdoing it and looking silly. You could also have something to hold so that your hands are busy, but remember that whatever you do other than your speech will attract people’s attention elsewhere, so it’s best to try not to do it.

Speech Fluency:

If you are constantly saying ‘erm’ or stuttering over your words, people may begin to lose interest, as it might not seem as though you know very much about your topic. To prevent yourself from doing this, write a speech, learn it, and try to stick to it. You need to be confident with what you have to say, otherwise you’re more than likely to fill any gaps that you might have in your speech with ‘erms’ or other non-fluency devices.

Topic:

You might not have that much of a choice about which topic you wish to do your speech on, but you will have a choice about what information you present from within that topic. You need to think about who will be listening to your speech. If you are a teacher in a secondary school, then it’s more than likely that your audience won’t need to know absolutely everything that you know about the subject. If you’re lecturing in a university, students might already have a certain level of understanding about the subject, therefore meaning that you would be able to include more than you would have been able to for another audience.

Tags

Public, Public Relations, Published, Speak, Speaking

Meet the author

author avatar SilentWriter
I am a 21 year old girl doing a degree in Psychology :-).

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Comments

author avatar Lois
7th Jul 2010 (#)

I am one of those who dread public speaking. I am always looking for a way to get out of it!
By the way, I was scanning your articles, and saw a lot of interesting ones. Great author you are, I'm following you. :)

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