6 Tips for Public Speaking

We all are very comfortable in expressing our thoughts and opinions when we are in the cocoon of our friends circle or family relations. The years of familiarity and informal set up of the situation gives us an ease to speak without any consciousness. However, when it comes to speaking in front of  public, we get chills.  We tend to exaggerate the depth of the situation only because we fear that we may embarrass ourselves.We shiver and our nervousness begins to overwhelm us. Many of us even think to jump down the back window and save ourselves from the torture of having to speak. 

Experiencing such feelings is very normal. Fear is a common emotion that most of us encounter before moments of public speaking and there is nothing to distress about it if we are able to control it.. Our real success lies in not how we speak but how we manage to sway away our fears to put our best foot forward.

Confidence is the key. Confidence is the main ingredient required for a good quality of public speaking. Not everyone has got the gift of the gab, but we can all climb the ladder with the help of confidence. Fake it till you make it, it’s an aphorism that is if you project confidence, you will feel confident. It’s not a crime to get a stage fright when you’re in front of the crowd.
Remember the best way to overcome your fear is to face it
Here are some tips for public speaking that may help you to speak publicly without heebies-jeebies:

1. Know what your intended message is!

If you yourself do not know what you want to convey, your audience never will. Always have a crystal clear idea about what you’re going to speak about and what message you want to pass to your audience. Keep the content of your speech straight and avoid talking in circles. If you go on beating about the bush, your audience will begin to lose their interest in you.
To understand this properly, hear some of the famous speeches of all times and notice how their speakers stuck to the main point. For example, watch how Martin Luther King Jr. in his  revolutionary speech of “I have a dream” paints his message for the world he dreams to live in. He went on but never deviated from his intended message of sensitising people against the brutality of racism which persisted in America. We can now say how massively he succeeded in his endeavour as his words still continue to echo in our ears.

Hence, you must always know what your is the actual message you want to convey to the audience.

2. Practice, practice, practice…

‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.’ – Vladimir Horowitz
Practice what you’ll be speaking and how you’ll be speaking in front of a mirror, in front of family and friends. Practice with distractions too, keeping in mind that the room will be full of people and also full of distractions. 

Practise makes a man perfect. Since every speaker has his/her own originality and we know that originality beats imitation, know that extensive practice can help you explore your own unique style as well. 

3. Take it slow and steady

Don’t rush, take your time and speak in a steady pace. It will help your audience to absorb your points and will also enable you to rectify any potential mistakes. 

Sometimes, people speak at a very fast pace which leads to create unwanted chaos. This rush may be because people are so scared of/while speaking that they feel the need to be done with it as fast as possible or that we’re just nervous.  

Slow down, as it will give you time to think and ensure that you’re not going out of track. A good speech is usually the one with a slow pace and pauses but that doesn’t mean you don’t let that comma become a full stop.

So, take your time and go slow but steady.

4. Watch that body language

Your words are important. Your body language is more important. It speaks much before you do. It frames the first impression in the minds of your audience and as they say “First impression is the last impression.” 
Always remember what the 7% rule of communication is. According to the famous psychologist, Albert Mehrabian, only 7 % in a communication is verbal and the rest of 93% is non-verbal in which the 55% is the body language and 38% is the tone of the voice. This shows how important it is to have a proper body language.

From dress to behaviour, from handshake to body posture, everything comes under Body Language which you need to pay attention to. The few things which you can keep in your mind are: 

-Keep your body straight 
-don’t slouch.
- Keep your arms open and not crossed or in your pockets. 
-Use positive gestures. 
-Don’t forget that eye contact and keep a subtle expression.  
-Keep your breathing relaxed as it will help you in your tone of voice and pace. 

5. Put your creative hat on!

‘Public speaking is the art of diluting a two minute idea with a two hour vocabulary.’ - John F. Kennedy

A crucial part of public speaking is the way you put a piece together. Remember you’re not simply talking but delivering a message, an idea or an opinion. You must add a value  with which people can relate and emulate. 

Use your value constructively and do not make your speeches monotonous but use your creativity, vocabulary, humour and facts to grab the audience’s attention swiftly.

 6. Accept criticism and learn from your mistakes

Mistakes are a proof that you are trying and a  proof that you are a human being.  Albert Einstein said, “Anyone who never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”  Mistakes are a part and parcel of life which cannot be avoided since no one is born perfect. However. the most important thing is to learn from it and try not to repeat it.

Don’t get agitated if you make some mistakes while speaking or if you get a negative feedback. Take criticism constructively and to your advantage. Accept them and learn from them. This is how you grow and become a better speaker in particular and better person in general everyday.

Lastly, always remember that all great speakers were mediocre at first. It is experiences that teach you and mould you into a confident and mature being. Always remember to Stumble, Learn & Grow.

- Nivedita Kundu

Source: https://mindgrad.com/free-reads/f/6-tips-for-public-speaking

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6 Tips for Public Speaking 6 Tips for Public Speaking Reviewed by EMN on March 10, 2019 Rating: 5

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