So, how to improve at the art of public speaking? Lets take the example of grazing horses.
Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some horses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at the thundering cars, while at the next crossing a farmer is trying to quiet his scared horse as the train goes by?
How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in a back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently see the machines?
Apply the same horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying. You can never attain freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise.
By following these 10 tips, you’ll be able to eliminate that feeling and make your presentation a good experience for both you and your audience.
- Acquiring Confidence in Front of an Audience
Speaking in front of people can be terrifying. Some might argue that it is even more intimidating to speak in front of a smaller audience. To overcome this fear, Carnegie says to:
- Practice multiple times
- Be absorbed in your subject
- Have something to say
- Expect success
- Assume control over your audience
- Subject and Preparation
Know what you’re talking about and keep your knowledge organized. Do research and have facts to supplement your speech. Create an outline, and once you’ve prepared your presentation, don’t be afraid to revise.
- Efficiency through Change of Pitch
Carnegie advises that for every change in thought, your voice should change in pitch. Work on noticing what your voice does when you speak, remember that having more inflections in your voice will sound more pleasant to your audience.
- Pause and Power
Knowing how to utilize pauses can greatly help your public speaking skills. They can be used for a variety of reasons like letting your audience mentally prepare for your next thought, creating suspense, or letting your message sink in with your audience.
- Feeling and Enthusiasm
Put feeling into your speech, and express that. Don’t be afraid to let go, even if it feels overdone at first. Be enthusiastic about your topic, it will help get your audience excited about it too. The more excited about and connected to your presentation your audience is, the more likely your message will resonate with them.
- The Voice
A speaking voice is essential for public speaking, but how do you train yourself to have one? To begin with, you have to relax. Don’t allow yourself to be nervous because there is nothing to be nervous about. Watch your breath and try reciting vowel sounds to relax and prepare for your speech.
- The Truth about Gestures
Gestures should be a reflection of what you’re feeling, helping convey that to your audience. They should come naturally, and should be one of the only unplanned parts of your speech. Make sure your movements are fluid and go along with what you are saying at that exact moment.
- Influencing the Crowd
Every crowd needs a leader. Be that leader for your audience! Guide your audience through your thoughts and keep them engaged. Establishing yourself as a leader will gain respect from your audience and help you get them to take the action you want them to.
- Growing a Vocabulary
Having a word in your vocabulary means three things: you know its meanings, you know how it works with other words, and you know how to use it correctly. When you hear a new word, make it a point to learn these three things about it. Hearing a word you already know, used in a different way, is a great way to increase your vocabulary as well. If you’re unfamiliar with that usage, look it up and learn it.
- Memory Training
You probably don’t want to or can’t memorize your entire speech word for word, so associating ideas will be essential to having your presentation go smoothly. It’s as simple as memorizing your outline. Memorize your key speaking points and some words associated with them, and work from there.
Audience expect big things from a speaker asking for attention: he must have either truth or entertainment for them. Get out there and own the stage!!!