You’re a normal, confident individual until you see a huge crowd in front of you. By seeing this huge crowd, your body undergoes many changes. High pulse rate, heavy breathing, legs weaken, muscles tense, and tongue hardens in the mouth or mouth becomes dry. The fear of speaking being judged, negative chain of thoughts captures your mind and then it affects your performance. Then you wonder ‘why am I so bad at public speaking?’
One thing which you should realise is, fear of public speaking is normal and it can happen with anyone. Public Speaking is a skill and one should definitely improve that skill. It is just that some people are good at this and some people are not. So, with continuous practice, you can definitely develop the art of public speaking.
Public Speaking is quite an important skill which every individual should have. No matter who you are, student, professional, businessman or anyone, you must know how to speak fearlessly in pubic. You never know when someone might ask you to present something or address a group of people. You might be asked to entertain someone or make an important announcement or any such thing wherein you’re supposed to address a large crowd.
So, how do you improve The Art of Public Speaking?
It is as they say some are born leaders & some leaders are made by working on leadership skills. Similarly, some people are naturally good at public speaking but some are not. But you can always improve by following below few steps –
1. Try to prepare your speech by Writing it
When you know that you have a presentation tomorrow where you have to address a huge crowd, you should always prepare your speech by writing it. Writing is equal to reading it 100 times. So, write. It will help you to remember what you have to speak and thus your confidence will be high.
2. Know your Audience
Always keep in mind that you are not speaking for yourself, you are speaking for the people who are going to listen to you. So, know and understand your audience. Understand their age group, their background, their qualification and their interest. Consider all such things & then prepare your speech.
3. Don’t try to remember it word by word
Don’t try to remember your speech word by word rather remember the flow of your speech. Break down your speech in various segments such as intro, topic 1, topic 2, and then the conclusion. That way you can remember it better.
4. Practice the Speech
Practice! Practice! Practice! If you don’t practice the speech then you will not understand where you need to improve. You will get used to giving a presentation and you will be more familiar with the content you are going to speak. So, don’t even think of skipping the practice.
5. Focus on Body Language
Public speaking is incomplete without proper body language. Your body language has to be confident and positive. Avoid unnecessary waving of a hand, make eye contact, don’t shake your head too much, don’t raise your shoulders too much. These small things sometimes do affect your presentation.
6. Watch out for Speed, Tone & Pause
Make sure your speed is medium i.e. not too fast or not too slow. Watch out your tone, it should not be too loud or too low. Take adequate pauses. Let the audience process your thoughts.
7. Ask Feedback
Ask for feedback. Feedback should be honest then only you will understand where to improve. Even if you don’t like to be criticised, criticism is the best tool which can help you to improve in life.
Getting anxiety with the thought of speaking in front of public or stage fear is a common thing to happen. But the real challenge is to overcome that fear and to develop the public speaking skill. Having a good public speaking skill is one of the most important skill & you should not take it lightly. It is a must-have skill for Leaders or Managers or Businessman or Any other professionals.
Below are some more simple tips which can help you –
Shift your concentration from yourself and your fear to your subject of speaking.
Set up your material in advance and read it so everyone hears your voice.
Stay away from negative thinking.
Visualize your success
Practice approaches to calm and relax your brain and body – deep breathing and relaxation work.
Don’t freak out with thoughts about what could go wrong. Rather, focus on thoughts and images that are reassuring and encouraging.
Try to restrict caffeine, sugar, and liquor as much as is reasonably expected.
Smile and welcome people, think of them as companions rather than enemies.
Get up or sit in a confident posture.
It’s okay to make mistakes.
Be simple, act natural.