If you quiver when you think of giving a speech to your audience, you’re not alone. It’s completely normal. Just thinking about it makes everyone tremble inside. Whether we’re talking in a team meeting or presenting in front of a live audience, we all have to speak in public always.
TIP: Remember that not all occasions when you need to speak in public will be scheduled. You can make good impromptu speeches by having ideas and mini-speeches pre-prepared. It also helps to have a good, thorough understanding of what’s going on in your organization and industry.
The Importance of Public Speaking
By definition “Public Speaking”, is an act of performing a speech or dialogue to a live audience. This type of speech is deliberately structured with three general purposes:
And to entertain
Here’s what we learned over the years to bust our fear of public speaking:
Treat the meeting planners, organizers, support staff, and everyone else, very well. You need them and their help to be the great speaker you want to be. Don’t treat them like second-class citizens!
Take care of yourself – exercise and mental health. Also, pay attention and manage your adrenaline cycle, it’s your best friend when it’s with you, but your worst enemy when it leaves.
Know your Audience. At this point you know what to talk about, but how to get it across to your audience is another story. First, you need to know who’ll be listening when you speak. To put it another way, know your audience.
Get the best equipment you can afford, take care of it, and never blame it when it fails you. Have a non-tech version of your talk ready to go.
Trust your message. Don’t bother doubting it, that’s just your fears talking. But do refresh it regularly, pay attention to the competition, and learn new material.
When you get on stage, enjoy the moment and be present. Avoid thinking about your next flight, or your next drink, or the next audience. Treat the audience in front of you as it is the only audience that will ever exist.
Psyche Yourself Up. What is the worst thing that could happen if you stand up and talk before a big crowd? You might be booed and embarrassed, but unless you’re speaking about a delicate political issue, which is unlikely, that’s the absolute worst that could happen. No one will take you to court just for speaking in front of a crowd.
Say yes to the gig, if you possibly can do it. But don’t sell yourself short. When they say, “We have no budget,” hear that as the beginning of a negotiation, not a serious invitation to speak for free.
Be An Expert On Your Topic. Let’s say you’re giving a talk on love and romance. Think about your own love life. What are your romantic experiences? Or, think of lessons you’ve learned from famous love stories. Use these lessons to jazz up your talk.
Don’t allow yourself to get so stressed out by speaking that you forget to take your jokes where you can. Travel can be stressful, but it’s also funny, if you can take a moment to find the humor. So is speaking.
Now public speaking, especially paid public speaking, is an enormous gift and privilege, Good luck!