Giving a public speech can be daunting. It is well known that most people rank the fear of public speaking higher than death! However, there are a number of techniques that can be used to overcome the fear of public speaking.
When you look at the audience, see them as one person. The best way to achieve this is to look at an individual and direct a sentence or two directly to them. This technique certainly gives a personal touch and you will feel like you are talking one on one. Don’t focus on something else such as the back wall. It is a common belief that if you are afraid of getting up in front of an audience, you should look at something else. Not True. In fact it is a distraction and takes the focus off the message you are trying to deliver. If you focus on an individual in the audience and concentrate on the message you are delivering, you have no time for fear or nerves. Just focus on the message.
Remember that they are there to see you. The audience members must value what you have to say because they are there. They don’t know what you do. They have come to learn from you. Don’t worry what anyone else thinks about you – they don’t know what you do!
Put emotion into the delivery. Again, this will help you focus on delivering your message and you will forget about your fears and nerves. You might even enjoy it! If you feel what you are saying, you have a far greater chance of connecting with the audience. Put another way, if you don’t feel anything for what you are talking about, how is anybody else?
Use humor – nothing breaks the ice like a joke to loosen up the audience. Humor is a great way to get an emotional response and a connection with the audience. If people are laughing with you, they won’t be laughing at you. It is important to use jokes that relate to your subject. Stick with safe jokes that you know work. Don’t experiment. Also, don’t overdo the jokes. They haven’t come to see a comedian, and it could fall flat after a while.
Make the speech personal by directing it to the specific interest of the audience. This will cause an instant connection. It doesn’t matter if you are a certified expert in an area, if you don’t personalize the content the audience wont appreciate the information they have received. Get a good rapport with the audience. The best way to do that is ask the audience questions ie anyone from….
These are a few tips to overcome your fear of public speaking. Remember that public speaking is a skill and the more you practice, the better you will get. Even the best public speakers had to start somewhere.
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