Talking in front of people is scary.
What if they think poorly of me?
What if I’m laughed at?
What if I mess up?
These are all thoughts that are travelling through your head as you get up there and prepare to speak, but it’s not the only thing travelling through your body.
You can FEEL the adrenaline being released, kicking you into fight-or-flight without your consent. You quickly shove your hands into your pockets to prevent the audience from seeing you shake.
After a less-than-stellar speech, you proceed to walk off the stage, harrowed by your worrying thoughts (and the adrenaline still flowing through you.)
Does that sound like you?
If these are some common symptoms that you have when you speak publicly, worry not!
I’m here to help.
Let’s get two things out of the way. First of all, there’s absolutely no shame in having glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. It’s suggested as one of the most common phobias in existence. In fact, one study suggests up to 75% of Americans have glossophobia!
So don’t worry about speaking anxiety.
Second of all, public speaking is unavoidable. From presentations in school, to business meetings and proposals, to introducing new friends, public speaking if a vital tool and lucrative skill to learn, so the earlier you learn it, the better.
With that being said, let’s jump right into the 9 ways you can make a more effective presentation.
No one cares
This is the most important step of the process. Before you do anything else, master this step first!
When you make a presentation, remember that absolutely no one cares in you make a mistake while speaking. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
You take up very little thought in most people’s heads. Most people, at any given time, are not thinking about you. If you need any proof, think of the amount of times some given person crosses your mind throughout the day. Yeah, I didn’t think you cared much about other people, either.
Realizing no one else cares about you messing up your presentation is the first step to honing your mastery of public speaking.
Know your stuff
If you aren’t immediately thrown on the spot, reciting your text and making preparations for a speech will help you remember what to say and will reduce your chances of messing up.
Some things to consider doing are:
- Write your text
- Recite in front of the mirror (Don’t forget to compliment how good your suit looks!)
- Make notes to take with you
If you know your stuff, you’ve already won half of the battle.
Practice makes perfect
Public speaking takes time to perfect. The more you do it, the better you’ll become at it.
So it makes sense that if you want to perfect your public speaking, you should try and speak publicly as often as possible.
Now, it might not be easy to find opportunities to publicly speak, but a great first place to start is to always volunteer to present first whenever the chance arises.
This way public speaking will start to come naturally to you.
Other places where you can try and publicly speak include toasts at a party, presenting ideas at a meeting, or performing in some kind of a show.
Forcing yourself into those situations will start to work wonders for your speaking skills.
Take a bottle of water with you
You can’t be serious, can you? I hear you ask.
Well, in fact, you did read that right! This concludes your reading test.
Taking a bottle of water with you is very useful when you’re presenting on stage with a platform of some sorts. Whenever you feel yourself getting caught up, or you’ve blanked out on ideas, take a swig of water to buy you time. It makes you look professional and the best part is it’s 100% natural.
Imagine you’re talking to a group of friends
I believe your speeches should be a reflection of YOU.
YOUR humor, YOUR style, YOUR eloquence.
Your true form is brought out whenever you talk to your friends. You see how they’re always laughing around you and such? How they always listen to you?
You need to capture that spirit and bring it out when you speak, and there is no better way than imaging yourself talking to your own friends. Think of it like speaking among people you know well, but (often) on a much grander scale.
This way, you’ll bring out a more familiar, and dare I say, vulnerable side of you that makes your speech captivating and original.
Stick to the point
When presenting, one should always avoid fluff.
If you’re beating around the bush, stalling around, or just plain idling while making a speech, it’s a threefold process of gutting your presentation’s effectiveness:
- You’re trying to make your speech seem longer than it it, making your audience feel like you’re overcompensating.
- You don’t know what to say, so it seems like you don’t know your stuff.
- You’re spending precious time on stalling; all the while your audience loses interest.
To prevent this, outline your main topics and ideas, and then act on those ideas. Never make a presentation longer than it has to be.
When you ask someone to a date, you’re not there to tell them about your grandmother’s birthday (although that’s a great topic.) Presentations should be regarded in the same manner.
So there you have it
With these 6 steps, be prepared to watch your presentation skills soar to new heights as you easily master the flow of conversation and eloquence!
What do you guys think? Are there any steps I missed? Did this list help you get over your pesky glossophobia? What do you use to make good presentations?