One of the most daunting tasks to undertake is public speaking. You risk looking foolish in front of a judgmental crowd, which can be a serious blow to your pride. Fortunately, public speaking is like any other subject – it can be taught. Even the worst orator can become a competent speaker through hard work. If you want to improve in this area, here are four tips for mastering public speaking.
1. Pick a Style
It’s easy to assume that public speaking requires a generic politician’s tone and stature. This results in serious and somewhat monotone performances. However, chances are that you aren’t making a speech which requires such staunch formality. This isn’t to say you should become a stand-up comedian, but you can try to insert engaging characteristics into your presentation. If you’re having anxiety about public speaking, this method may help you as it promotes a casual atmosphere. Using a style also helps to engage the audience. No one wants to watch a one-note lecture, particularly if the topic is dull.
2. Watch Yourself
One of the best ways to judge your public speaking is by watching yourself. After all, a speech is a performance. It isn’t just reliant on memorized words. You can take a video of yourself or look in the mirror while reciting. Focus on your body language. Do you look awkward? Are you entertaining? Even if you don’t like what you see, you’ll be able to know what’s wrong and fix it.
3. Understand Your Environment
In order to lessen the chance of mistakes, it’s essential to know your environment. The first part of this is scoping out space. Make sure you know practical facts like where to stand and what equipment to use. Test the equipment to ensure it’s working. The second part is knowing your audience. If the people watching are all college students, you don’t want to be making dad jokes the entire time. There will likely be more enjoyable if no physical issues occur and the audience can relate to the presentation.
4. Know Your Speech
The last thing any presenter wants is to forget a speech. Silently fumbling for your words can be humiliating. Because of this, it’s vital to know your speech inside and out. Even once you have it memorized, your process isn’t over. Repeat it so many times that the words become natural to say. You can even add memory devices to phrases that tend to be difficult. If you have problems with memorization and assistance is allowed, you may consider using devices like an affordable teleprompter. Getting the words out no matter what is usually the highest priority in lectures.
The fear of public humiliation is something that lives in nearly everyone. Luckily, hard work can negate the chance of said shame occurring. If you practice your speech and grow confidence in yourself, the world can be your oyster. After all, speaking in public tends to be more about the message than your performance. Focus on your cause and have fun orating.