We’ve pulled together some great tips on how to speak confidently in public so you will appear calm, cool and collected when public speaking.
1) Invest in visual aids.
A presentation with PowerPoint slides and hand-outs will distract your audience from focusing just on you and therefore make you feel less self-conscious.
Additionally, visual aids help you feel less pressured to structure the whole talk and help you section your speech, making it easier for your audience to digest.
A good idea could be to include funny/pretty images or quizzes to liven up a speech!
2) Squeeze in personal opinions.
People are always impressed when people offer their personal opinion in public situations as this shows you have knowledge and passion on the subject. It also helps your audience to feel more at ease and create a more casual conversation than a formal talk.
Even if you just simply say, ‘I agree with this point’, or ‘I’m not sure on this personally’ it will still create more of a discussion with the audience rather than just talking at them.
3. Know what you’re talking about.
Pretty obvious but often overlooked when preparing for a speech or public talk. Often people remember what they’re going to say but forget to really understand what they’re saying and why they’re saying it.
Research as much as you can about the subject and really throw yourself into it! Try to find an angle which you find interesting and then this will show in your speech!
4. Always have water.
Always have water!
When preparing for a speech remember to pick up a big fresh bottle of water to keep you alert and refreshed.
Taking a sip of water can help you think of an answer to a question as well!
5. Body Language
For some people, when they feel nervous their hands shake, knees buckle and they generally look uncomfortable. If you try to teach yourself how you will hold your body then you can feel confident that you’ve got this prepared!
Try to keep yourself standing tall with your head high! If there will be a speech stand then this would make it much easier for you to relax your arms so consider what the setup will be like first. Some people naturally talk with their hands which can be distracting if you do it too much but generally it shows your confidence and emphasises your points.
Use the space you have! Moving around will make you appear calmer and more relaxed which will therefore make the audience feel that way too.
Facial expressions are also very important during a speech! Don’t be afraid to express emotion just like you would in a conversation and try not to let your eyes look down too much as they can make you appear uninterested in the audience.
6. Your voice.
For a lot of people, hearing your own voice when speaking in public can be the most distracting element. Try to not focus on how you sound but rather have confidence in what you’re saying and why you’re saying it!
Record yourself doing the speech and play it back. Do you sound confident, clear and composed? If you do then you know you can do the same thing in front of a few people no problem! If not then listen and watch some public speakers online and notice how they speak clearly, at a much slower pace than usual and with confidence.
If you feel prepared then there is no reason to be nervous. You have this under control.
- Get a good night sleep the day before the speech (then maybe you won’t end up like the man in the image).
- Ensure to eat some fruit or carbohydrates before the speech for energy.
- Make sure you have your water prepared.
- Notes and pen drive packed and ready.
- Wear something you love or something new.
- Add some colour to your outfit to make you stand out and appear confident! Lipstick, bright clothes, bright tie etc.
- Plan something nice to do after the speech. Go out for a nice meal, meet a friend for coffee or just go home and take a long bath if you can.
- Don’t overthink!