Public speaking is stressful for many people, but it does not have to be. Whether you work alone or with a large number of other people, speaking in public is something we all eventually have to do. Whether it is speaking to a small or large group of people, the same skills apply when it comes to public speaking. Follow these helpful tips to become comfortable and successful at public speaking.
Be yourself when you engage in public speaking
If you make a mistake, laugh it off. Your audience does not expect perfection and that is not what public speaking is about. The main purpose of public speaking is to give your audience something of value in your delivery. Humor is certainly engaging and it helps to break the ice and engage your audience, but you do not have to be funny to be good at public speaking. If individuals in your audience walk away with something of value after hearing you speak, they will consider you a success.
Engage your audience by telling stories
Start telling a story and tell your audience you will finish it later. Telling stories is a way to hook your audience. People will want to keep listening in order to hear how your story ends. Storytelling can be a powerful tool. Everyone can relate to stories. You may want to go a step further and find a way to connect the stories you tell during your speaking engagement.
Use demonstrations to engage your audience
Using visuals along with whatever you are speaking about can help to clarify your points and can also be a powerful tool.
Don’t just talk to your audience
Ask for their feedback as well. Engage your audience by asking them to participate. Ask your audience questions and ask them if they have any questions once you are done with your presentation.
Practice, practice, practice
Having a strong idea of what you are going to talk about or present may help you feel more at ease once you are speaking in front of an audience.
Rehearse your presentation, engage your audience, and remember to have fun with public speaking. There is no reason for it to be stressful. If you enjoy yourself, your audience is likely to enjoy your presentation also.
Kathy Kara is a representative of the Institute for Coaching, a premiere life and executive coaching company.
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