Fear not - the art of public speaking

It's no secret that public speaking is pretty much Public Enemy Number One in the professional sphere. However, in a lot of jobs public speaking or presenting to a team of people can be a necessary part of the job. If you find you dread the idea of speaking in front of others, read these tips to overcome these fears and deliver a successful speech!

1. Inspiration

Taking inspiration from others can prove to build confidence within yourself and your speech. Try to watch speeches from great public speakers (YouTube is a great tool for this). Watch their mannerisms, posture, and tone of voice, LOOK AT IT ALL. Then, practice! Try to re-enact these speeches, using some of the great parts of these presentations to make yourself look and feel more comfortable, and engaging.

2. Become a Storyteller!

The oldest profession in the world is storytelling, otherwise how would the men in the pub know out about the other oldest profession?! So when it comes to delivering a cracker speech, become a storyteller! A great way to approach public speaking and presentation - in the face of sheer terror -  is to think of the task as telling a story to the audience. The words “public speaking” or “pitch” can sometimes cause fear to set in and that's when we become our own worst enemies. MIND OVER MATTER PEOPLE! Putting yourself into a positive mindset can sometimes make all the difference, and can stop the fear and panic from setting in. Write your “speech” like you are telling a story. This not only limits that performance anxiety, but it can prove to be a more compelling and engaging presentation. 

3. Practice, practice and more practice!

A key to getting over that sheer terror of public speaking is practice. The more familiar you become with the content and its delivery, the easier it is to eliminate the anxiety that can sometimes be felt when having to publicly present. When practicing your presentation, try filming yourself. Filming your speech can allow you to get used to having to direct your presentation to an “audience” (even if it is just a camera) and then you can watch it. Watching yourself on camera is a great way to see how your audience will view you when you present. It allows you to make improvements and fix problems before the day, thus allowing for a flawless presentation and less nerves when it's time to step on stage.

Overall, it’s easy to be afraid or intimidated at the idea of presenting or speaking in front of others, whether they are peers, co-workers or strangers. However, these steps can help to reduce those ill feelings, build your confidence and enhance your presentation skills.