Have you ever wondered what the biggest fear is for most people?
You’re probably thinking that it might be fearing heights, snakes, small spaces, deep water, loneliness, or even death. However, according to Toastmasters International for Public Speaking and Leadership Education, number one fear is Public Speaking. Exactly, public speaking comes on the top of the list of fears, even before death.
If not properly handled, public speaking fear can result into a serious phobia named Glossophobia or speech anxiety, which has symptoms similar to nausea, dry mouth, breathing difficulty, increased blood pressure, and feelings of distress or panic under some circumstances.
Whether you are a job seeker, a student, a lecturer, a manager, or other, there comes a time when you need to speak in front of strangers to present your idea in an impressive way that demonstrates knowledge, self-confidence, and uniqueness, which leads to reaching your goals and experiencing the joyful moments of success.
The first time you say something, it’s heard; the second time, it’s recognized; the third time, it’s learned, as per John Maxwell (author and speaker, who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership).
As per Dale Carnegie, only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.
The good news is that public speaking is a skill that can be acquired and developed.
Below are most of the helpful public speaking tips I’ve learned from hands-on experience, researches by Washington and Harvard Universities, Dale Carnegie, John Maxwell, Brian Tracy, and other public speakers and leaders.
I personally tried them, and they helped me to successfully speak on important meetings, interviews, events, sessions, and have better social interactions. They work like magic if you’re giving a presentation. Try them, and simply speak like a Pro.
Public Speaking Tips
- Prepare a rich, organized, and meaningful content.
- Use visuals during your presentation (e.g. posters, charts, PowerPoint presentation).
- Make sure your presentation have 3 main parts: Opening, body, and closing.
- Let your personality shine through: Be honest, unique, cheerful, open, and confident.
- Show passion and enthusiasm about what you present.
- Practice your presentation with colleagues, friends, or family, and get their feedbacks.
- Record your presentation for self-analysis: You can simply practice in front of the mirror, or shoot a video using a smartphone.
- Arrange the location before the presentation: Make it comfortable, clean, and neat.
- Focus on delivering your message, not on how you feel.
- Make eye contact with your audience.
- Consider a short icebreaker related to the topic of your presentation (e.g. question, short story, quote).
- Give a warm welcome, and remember to introduce yourself.
- Thank your audience for coming.
- Clarify your topic and objectives at the beginning.
- Provide your audience with the roadmap of your presentation at the beginning.
- Use a clear voice.
- Use intonation (different tones of your voice).
- Use hand gestures naturally.
- Maintain good posture of your body.
- Occasionally, move from one spot to another with a purpose (e.g. to get closer to your audience, or make a movement fitting with what you’re saying).
- Allow questions, and assign them a specific and limited time period.
- Listen attentively before responding to questions.
- Talk at a natural pace (not too fast, not too slow).
- Speak to the knowledge level of your audience.
- Talk to your audience and ask questions to keep them engaged.
- Encourage interactions between audience members.
- Involve your audience in small activities related to your presentation.
- Make your audience laugh from time to another.
- Create surprises and suspense.
- Give examples, tell stories, or share real-life experiences.
- Conclude with a strong ending.
- Summarize key points at the end.
- Thank your audience at the end.