Communication-Media Tip of the Day: Public Speaking

Unmask the Enemy: Take the Fear Out of Public Speaking. 5 Bold Tips

I know you’ve felt them: The butterflies in your belly--Your face flushing with redness while you blush---The weakness in your knees--The long stares by the audience waiting for you to open your mouth.

Will the audience like you and applaud? Will you get your key points across in the allotted time? What do you do if a heckler or nay-sayer pokes holes in your argument? There are many fear-based questions populating our minds  and running around rampant in our brains. How do you fearlessly approach the podium? 

  1. Have Fun:

First and foremost, no matter how nervous you feel, you will get through it so it's important to remember to let yourself have some fun and allow your personality to shine through. 

    2.  You're the Expert! 

People are attending your presentation to learn something. And, you know a lot about the topic or you wouldn't be up there.  By knowing your audience, and your subject matter, you're halfway there. 

    3.  Know Your Audience

Smile. Your warmth will resonate with your audience. Feel free to call out the names of friends, colleagues, associates. The audience will stay glued, waiting to see if you will call out their names later in the talk. You've got their attention, now talk to them with authenticity and sincerity. 

   4. Be prepared.

Sure, often times you will be called upon to give an impromptu presentation or update. But by and large, you will have time to prepare your presentation.  A great way to radiate confidence is by arriving early or on time, double-checking that your materials are ready, and giving yourself time to relax and greet everyone. It helps if you can create your own slides. It makes telling the story (or the presentation) so much more natural and easy. A picture tells a thousand words. 
Use lots of visuals: Spend quality time creating engaging slides. Rehearse! Spend an equal, if not greater amount of time practicing and rehearsing your presentation. Find a quiet place and do as many dry runs as you need to. Then find someone willing to listen and provide you constructive criticism and do your presentation for them.

   5. Check your Appearance in the Mirror

If you look great, you'll feel great! Dress appropriately. (Generally you should be the best dressed in the room).  Women: Wear bold colors. Men: Wear bold ties.

Ok. Now go out there and slay the "fear" dragon. He's been unmasked. We have no use for him. You can uncover your fears and face an audience. Trust yourself, and they'll trust you too.