Speaking in public is one of those things that you either take in your stride or absolutely despise. But when you’re in business it’s not something that can always be avoided. If you have to address a crowd don’t panic, these tips should help you stand your ground and prevent you from making a total fool of yourself.
Paint on a smile
You want your audience to engage with you so paint on a smile, give lots of eye contact and try to look confident even if your insides are doing cartwheels.
If you’re addressing a crowd a picture can be a very powerful tool. You can use it to help get your message across and to keep the audience focused on your key points. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Talk about what you know
It’s a lot easier talking about something you know or are interested in than a topic that you’re not 100% on. This will make it easier for you to engage your audience and in turn help reduce your anxiety.
Make them laugh
People like to laugh so getting in a few jokes or one liners can be a great way to get an audience on your side. Be careful not to go overboard and remember that it’s not always the time or place for a joke.
Keep it short and sweet
There’s nothing worse than someone droning on and on and on… So keep your talk short and sweet. Focus on key points and don’t get sucked in to giving a draw out description. When preparing your speech look for places where you can cut it down.
Ask for help
Find someone you know who is good at public speaking and ask them for help. You can gain really useful feedback as well some excellent advice.
Keep it moving
Get yourself in front of different audiences. Speak at different events, in different locations and on different subjects. Lear from everyone around you and invite feedback. The more you experience the better you will become.
Practice makes perfect
The more you speak in public the easier you are going to find it, so take every and any opportunity to get up in front of an audience. You don’t have to be up there for long, even a quick address will help you break down those nerves.
Don’t stop at the first set back or stutter. If at first you don’t succeed try, try again. You will make mistakes and encounter unreceptive audiences from time to time but it’s all character building. Just dust yourself off, learn from it and go again.