During your university life, and above all when you join the working world, you’ll find that there are many situations where you’ll have to talk in public. Some more than others, but everyone has had to handle this situation. The secret is to work on it so that you can speak in public without getting stage fright.
In general, when people think that they have to speak in public they start shaking, stuttering, sweating and generally become anxious. But you should know that it’s possible to get over these difficulties and to speak well in public, and being able to do so will give you a big boost in your professional and personal life.
If you want to get over this phobia that afflicts most people, put the following tips into practice:
Prepare what you’re going to say. Don’t think that it’s simply about standing in front of a microphone and reeling off your spiel. You need to structure your words and give meaning to the ideas that you want to communicate.
The start. The start of a presentation is a key moment, since it gives the public their first impression of you. That’s why a good start will allow you to grab the attention of those attending. Don’t leave it to chance – prepare yourself!
Body language. Smile at all times – this will make the audience trust you. Keep your back straight and hold your head high, otherwise you’ll make them think that you’re telling them something that’s of no interest to them.
Silence. Silences are also used to communicate. Use them to create uncertainty.
Brevity. It depends on the situation but your presentation may have a time limit. In any case, avoid overlong speeches devoid of content. It’s better to be able to transmit an idea well than show that you know a lot about it.
Trial run. The secret of a good presentation is practice. The more you practice the more secure you’ll be of the message you want to convey to those who’re listening. Start practising before the mirror and bit by bit ask people you trust – like friends or family – to listen to what you intend to say. They’ll spot mistakes that you can correct.
Most importantly, have faith in yourself. Believe in what you say and show that you know what you’re talking about. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Everyone does – we’re all human. Don’t be too hard on yourself because often the audience won’t even realise where you went wrong.
Ready to speak in public?