No matter what your career, you will encounter situations in which you have to speak publicly. If you dread these situations, you’re not alone. Public speaking is a common fear, but these tips can help you become more successful with it.
Preparation is Key
The most important part of public speaking is to be prepared. In addition to thoroughly researching your topic and writing a thought provoking speech, try to anticipate the questions your audience may have. If you can prepare for those questions, you won’t be taken aback by the spontaneity of audience participation. You’ll also establish yourself as an expert by showing that you know the material.
Tailor to Your Audience
You should also make sure your speech will suit your audience. For example, if you’re speaking to a group of people new to real estate investing, you may have to take the time to explain terms and processes that experienced investors would already understand. Talking down to one audience can be just as disastrous as using technical jargon with a group of novices. You’ll find you can express your thoughts more efficiently when you write your speech for your specific type of audience.
Practice Your Body Language
Even if you’ll have a podium available to you, it’s better to avoid making use of it. A podium gives you a place to hide and makes poor posture habits more likely. Instead, spend time practicing your speech in front of a mirror. This allows you to spot body language that looks awkward or unnatural. When you speak, you should maintain a good straight posture. You should also present a pleasant smile and keep eye contact with your audience. Habits to avoid include shifting from leg to leg or leaning against a podium or another object. Don’t be afraid to walk around from one end of the stage or platform to the other. If you’re in a smaller room, pacing a shorter distance can be acceptable if you move at a casual pace.
In addition to the tips provided here, you should also look for more opportunities to speak publicly. By practicing frequently, you’ll become more comfortable with it, and you’ll be able to speak confidently on any topic. Before long, you’ll forget that you were ever afraid of getting up in front of a large group to share your thoughts.