There will always be a point in life where you have to stand up in front of an audience to speak. Public speaking seems to be everyone's worst enemy. There are classes on it in, seminars, funny anecdotes, the list goes on. It goes without saying that for some people, it is their biggest fear. Well, I can tell you now, fear no more. Public speaking actually happens to be something I enjoy. Now I'm not saying I don't get nervous and freak like most, but in the end it is something I find, may I dare say, fun? The following is how to succeed when public speaking.
1. Figure out who your audience is.
Audience is a big factor in to how your speech will go. Depending on who you are talking to will indicate what kind of language, tone, and points you may bring up. Try to gauge the size of the audience as well. While you will be ready to go with a big or small group, knowing the size before hand will help so there isn't any shock factor when the day arrives.
2. Do some research.
Your speech may be over the simplest thing, however you can never be over prepared. Put some thought and research into what you will be talking about. You may think you know everything about the subject, but its always better to check if you are missing something that could affect how your speech goes.
3. Write down the major points you want to touch upon.
There is always a beginning, middle, and end when speaking on something; let's make sure you get everything you want to say out within that time. You may feel like it is silly to write down the obvious things you want to speak on, but when you're in the moment you may forget. By writing them down, you can visualize the list of things and not miss a point.
4. Make note cards.
Whether you end up using them while you talk or not, write on some notecards! You can plan your entire speech out or just write some short blurbs, it is up to you. My best advice is to write everything you would like to say and how you want to deliver it on the cards. You can use them to practice up until the very moment you go on.
5. Recite your speech in the mirror.
Before consulting anyone else with your thoughts, consult yourself! It will sound very silly, but look at yourself in the mirror and recite your speech out loud. This will allow you to see how you look while speaking and you can hear everything you have to say. You will be able to change the way you look if you want and will be able to edit your speech with things you missed while just writing it.
6. Repeat your speech to a close acquaintance.
If you are able to, it is always beneficial to have someone else besides yourself hear what you have to say before delivering it. They can give you feedback or just words of encouragement. Either will help.
7. Practice your power pose.
Everyone has their power pose, you may not think so, but it is true. Find out what you feel most comfortable in and in control. Are you standing feet planted straight on? Are you holding your hands, crossing your arms, using your upper body to express emotion? Whatever you feel best in, find that position and stay with it.
8. Act confident.
You may feel like you want to hide under a rock or run away, but you can't show that. If you stand there exuberayting confidence, people will believe that is how you are. Eventually you will feel confident as well and you won't even have to act. Fake it till you make it.
9. Don't picture everyone in their underwear.
This is honestly one of the most outrageous piece's of advice I have heard for public speaking. One, why would this make you feel better? Two, if you try this method, it will probably just steer you in the wrong direction and there goes your train of thought. Instead of imagining the audience in their underwear, look at them for who they are. Take a browse of who you are speaking too, and then that is all the eye contact you have to do. If you cast your gaze at about their foreheads, or right above their heads, it will seem as if you are keeping eye contact. You may not be, but it will seem as such and make everyone more intent with you speech.
10. Have fun with it.
Public speaking is hard! But it doesn't have to be painful. Everyone talks it up and stresses over the matter. Instead of stressing, do what you can to prepare and when the day comes, you know you are ready. Enjoy it as you are speaking and everyone else will do the same. The vibe you give off is one the audience will reciprocate. If you stumble on some words or forget to mention something, just keep on moving. You will probably be the only one noticing. After all, you are your worst critic.