Public speaking is said to be the greatest fear in the world; therefore it is only natural to prepare and feel comfortable when making an oral presentation or holding a training. Here you can find several tips to reassure you that any fear can be beaten and you can succeed in your speech.
1. Don’t forget that emotions of fear and anxiety are quite natural when in the position of speaking in public. This does not necessarily have to be bad because it gives you an amount of arousal that facilitates your performance.
2. If you are afraid that you will forget your speech, make some key message notes on palm cards and hold them close during the training. If it happens that you forget your words, don’t panic, and take a few seconds to calm down and remember the main subject. It may happen that you will come up with new ideas that will benefit the audience understand the topic even better.
3. Never be defensive or get argumentative if you are confronted by questions to which you do not hold the answer or hostile comments from the participants. Respond in a diplomatic manner, thank for the question, and tell him/her to give you his /her contacts to offer the response to the question after you have thoroughly researched it.
4. When delivering, watch the participants’ non verbal communication. See if you are on the same page with them, if they understand what you are transmitting. Pay extra attention to those with incongruent behavior, verbally stating one thing while their non verbal behavior is stating something else. Do not be afraid to ask questions about participants’ non verbal signals.
5. Practice, practice, practice! Rehearse your speech not only to remember what you have to say but also to master your non verbal language. By practicing in front of a mirror or videotaping yourself you will surely be able to identify your flaws and correct your posture, gestures and movement.
6. Learn to emphasize and transmit ideas through your Para verbal communication. Your voice is one of your most powerful weapons in teaching. Be enthusiastic for new information, lower and serious tone for key messages. Get the attention and interest of the audience and maintain it through the fluctuation of your tone, speed, volume and intonation.
7. Keeping eye contact is crucial in a training in order to create the bond with the audience and enhance their trust in your knowledge and preparation. A great way in keeping eye contact, but not hindering too long on one participant, is the “Lighthouse Technique”, which implies making eye contact with the audience from left to right or right to left, 3 seconds per each participant.
8. Last but not least, visualize yourself succeeding! Begin by breathing and remember why your objective!