Are you glossophobic?
You’re probably thinking — Wait, what did you call me? What the heck does that mean?
It means you’ve got a case of glossophobia, more commonly referred to as a fear of public speaking.
The good news is, and this likely comes as no surprise, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re far from it. It’s estimated that around 75 percent of the population has a public speaking phobia.
It’s understandable, too. Not many people can say they enjoy that kind of pressure and attention, that need to deliver perfectly.
Here, we’ve compiled some public speaking tips and tricks that won’t exactly make your fear go away, but will instill you with the confidence to press on anyway. Additionally, you can read the book Speak with Confidence: Overcome Self-Doubt, Communicate Clearly, and Inspire Your Audience by Mike Acker. It is one of the best public speaking books and an essential new strategy guide for anyone seeking to improve their ability to speak to a group. This is what you need to know before you give your next speech.
1. Understand Your Audience (And Your Stage)
If you know precisely who you’re speaking to, you’ll have a better idea of how to talk to them.
Is your event professional and classy? Or is it more laid-back and carefree? Knowing your audience will allow you to cater to their personality types and ensure you’re not making jokes at a bunch of lawyers or being too formal around comedians.
Furthermore, know where you’ll be giving your speech. With this in mind, you can visualize all the elements as you practice, preparing yourself for any distractions.
2. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
No one gives a perfectly-delivered speech without practicing. Attend any public speaking training or hire a public speaking consultant that is professional in their field from Thought-Leader, for example, and they’ll tell you to rehearse your speech close to death, together with giving your more confidence and knowledge on public speaking.
Practicing allows you to deliver your talk by muscle memory. Say audience members get up and leave or enter a room during your talk, or a baby cries, or someone begins a coughing attack after briefly choking on their entree.
If you’ve practiced countless times, you’ll be able to confront these distractions quickly and move on. Even better, practice in a space that’s full of madness, which forces you to pierce through the noise and carry on like a champ.
3. Take Your Time
Talking fast, or too much, is a surefire sign of anxiety. There’s nothing worse than being an audience member feeling embarrassed for the person on stage.
So, use your breath to slow you down. Before approaching the scene, and any time you notice yourself mumbling or getting excited, return to your breath and slow down. Deliver your points in a concise, non-rushed fashion, ensuring everyone can hear you loud and clear.
You can even take pauses when appropriate to allow the things you just said to sink in with your audience. These pauses also give you a chance to breathe deeply without doing so obviously.
4. Provide Value
What are you giving a speech on? Does it engage your audience, or does it try to “sell” them? Are you connecting with them on a human level?
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
If you’re talking in a non-animated way about something you’re not exactly passionate about, they’ll be able to tell. Try to inspire your audience to pay attention by providing them with something they can emotionally connect to.
Use These Public Speaking Tips and Tricks
If you keep these ideas in mind, your speech is sure to wow your audience — and who knows, you may even impress yourself!
Every expert who offers public speaking tips and tricks was once in your shoes. Use your inexperience to your advantage. Be yourself, be humble, and be authentic—your audience will appreciate it.
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