Public speaking scares the you-know-what out of people. They tried to avoid it at all costs. Sometimes though, you may find yourself in a position where you have no choice but to do a live presentation. The good news is, you can learn to be better at it. It’s worth it too, as many people make good money doing speeches.
- Know Your Material
When you know your material, you can answer questions about it. You become the authority and people react positively to this. It doesn’t mean you need to know every little bit about a topic. You should also never pretend or make up answers. If you don’t know, admit it and state that you will find out for the audience. You should have a good grasp on the subject material, however.
- Get the Audience Involved
The more you engage with the audience, the more comfortable you will feel with them as well as they with you. This could be in the form of a question/answer session, or it could be an open forum, etc. If you can tie activities that the audience gets involved with, all the better.
- Relax Before the Presentation
Try to set aside some time before the presentation to use relaxation techniques. If you know how to meditate, this would be a good time to use it. But, it can be as simple as going into a quiet room and taking deep breaths. Some people will even get a massage before their presentations. If this is available to you, give that a try.
- Know Your Audience
It may not always be possible, but if you can find out who your audience is, you will get a feel for how to structure your presentation. It makes no sense to present beginner material to a group of experts, for example.
- Try to Anticipate Questions and Concerns
If you can project what types of questions your audience may have or any criticism they may state, you can better prepare the answers. You won’t be able to get them all but getting as many as you can go a long way.
- Start Out Small
If you are new to public speaking, don’t take on an audience of thousands of people. Start out small with 20 to 30 people, or even less. You may even consider being a co-presenter with an experienced public speaker. You can observe this person, and he or she will be there if you should get stuck, or there is a lull in the presentation.
- Focus on the Message
When you structure your presentation, focus on why the message you want to get across is important. This importance will give you confidence when presenting as people will pick up on your enthusiasm for the topic. It’s difficult to become enthusiastic about a topic that is not important.