We all sometimes have to speak to the public: during workshops, interviews, presentations and even family parties. For many people, especially introverts, these moments are a real stress. Fortunately, it is possible to avoid panic or at least to reduce the degree of panic by following the advice of psychologists.
Today we will share 10 useful Lifespans with you for those who have to talk in public.
Why is it important to be able to speak to the public?
I think it’s a good idea to start with why everybody needs to be able to talk in public. Many of you may object: I’m not an actor, a teacher or even a sales manager, why would I do that? But if you think about it, situations similar to public appearances are always present in our daily lives.
From a diploma and job interview to a toast at a family wedding and an explanation of the rules of the game to your child and his or her friends, these are situations where you need to keep your audience’s attention for a certain period of time, and this is often difficult.
Fear of public speaking is one of the most common human phobias. Even if you don’t panic, it’s possible that you may be uncomfortable with the need to prepare your speech or performance. But you can learn to control this feeling, including through a series of tips that you will see below.
Psychologists argue that, as with any other fear, the worst-case scenario is worth thinking about in the first place. What can go wrong during a public speech? No one is being thrown rotted with rotten tomatoes these days! Most likely, the worst thing that can happen is if you mumble or forget the prepared text. But we have all experienced such moments in our lives, starting with unsuccessful answers at the blackboard. Did anyone die of this minute of humiliation? Moreover, do you still remember them? Believe me, those who should listen to you in half of the cases will not notice that something went wrong, and in the rest of the cases – will forget about it the next day. Nothing will happen, even if your speech isn’t brilliant. However, it is not so difficult to make the whole process much less nervous. Let’s consider a few ideas on how to do this.
How do I get better at speaking in public?
To be effective, even seasoned public speakers need to practice. It will be simpler to assess whether you have coherently structured the content if you give a practice presentation of your speech ahead of time. Ask for constructive critique while you’re presenting or practicing. This critique is provided in a lighthearted manner and includes specific instances. Connecting with an audience may be made simpler by being real. As you deliver your message, let your personality come through. Be genuine and appropriate; only use humor when it will help, not hinder, your task. Your audience will better understand your message if you use personal anecdotes or stories in your business presentations. On the TED Talk stage, this is effectively shown. You can also see if the crowd understands your central ideas or if you This critique is provided in a lighthearted manner and includes specific instances. Connecting with an audience may be made simpler by being real. You need to explain them by glancing at the individuals in the audience. Pay more attention to your body language for more elegance. Allow your arms to hang freely. Avoid tense motions that could detract from your message, such as stuffing your hands into your pockets or scratching your head. Despite your preparation, it’s common to have nervousness during your presentation still. When it occurs, inhale deeply. Nobody expects you to be flawless.
What are the 4 very factors of public speaking?
These four characteristics are necessary to be a good speaker.
Confidence: When it comes to public speaking, confidence is vital. By exuding confidence in your speech, you may position yourself as an authority on the subject. Your audience will be more inclined to believe you and the facts you are sharing.
Passion: If others can see and feel your enthusiasm, they will be more open to what you have to say.
A capacity for conciseness: Keep your presentation succinct and direct even if you are the most exciting and captivating public presenter. Your audience’s attention span may be short.
Awareness of the audience: Make sure you are familiar with your audience before beginning your presentation.
What are the qualities of a good speaker?
You should imitate the essential characteristics of influential speakers to become an inspirational and persuasive leader. Confidence is essential while speaking in front of an audience. Any anxiety you may have when making your presentation will be overcome if you are enthusiastic about the subject. Be genuine. If you need to stray somewhat from the well-crafted presentation, go for it! You should rehearse your speech as much as possible, but you don’t want to learn it by heart. To actually engage listeners in the discussion, it would be beneficial if you were enthusiastic about your subject. Without emotion, your words have no purpose. Avoid speaking in an overly scripted tone if you want to be more engaging as a speaker, but you should still consider the pace and inflection of your delivery as you practice your speech. Don’t feel pressured to finish a speech that you have 30 minutes to deliver if you only have that much time. Say what has to be said, then use any extra time to invite questions or let the audience go early. Since giving a speech is similar to conversing, you must make your point clear to the audience. Repeating your essential ideas will assist in guaranteeing that your audience remembers them. It fosters clarity and aids in fostering acceptance of a concept.
Why is confidence important in public speaking?
When it comes to public speaking, confidence is vital. Your audience will be more inclined to believe in you and the information you are putting out there. You become trustworthy, competent, and convincing when you are confident. You need to have enough self-assurance to be oneself during your presentation if you want to come off as really confident. Individuals are more likely to feel that they can relate to you if you can be yourself in front of them. If you try to behave differently than you typically do, you risk coming off as fake, making it harder for the audience to relate with you.
How can I be confident in speaking?
For your presentation, be organized and well-prepared because doing so will give you more control and reduce the likelihood of mistakes. Visualize giving your presentation with assurance and success; this will boost your self-assurance. Make a plan to control your anxieties. Caffeine is a stimulant and shouldn’t be used excessively since it might make you feel jittery and unsteady. Preparing audio material you can listen to on the way to the presentation, such as music or a podcast. Find a meditation technique that you can practice while driving to the event. You may also purposefully schedule some of your pauses, such as those following questions and after sections, since this will allow you time to collect yourself and the audience a chance to consider and reflect. Practice everything, especially your transitions, and use your visual aids rather than just reading the presentation through. Keep looking the audience in the eye. Points can be emphasized using gestures.
Why is public speaking so hard?
10 tips on how to speak in public
So, let’s turn to the specific advice of psychologists.
1. Observe other people who speak in public
Nothing teaches us as clearly as living examples. If you know that speaking in public is your problem, start by listening carefully to others. Go to conferences, lectures, watch videos on YouTube – what’s best for you. I’ll bet you’ll meet some great people to look at and say, “Oh, I want to be like this guy,” and some less fortunate ones that will allow you to be less strict about yourself, thinking, “They’re even more worried than I am!
Let’s go back to what we talked about above: believe me, nothing bad will happen to you, even if you fail in your speech.
Of course, if we are thoughtfully preparing our performance, it seems very important to hold it with brilliance. But even if something goes wrong, believe me, people around us will quickly forget about it or not notice it at all. Yes, perhaps you will not achieve some goal: you will not convince investors, you will not find partners, you will not convey your idea, etc. But all this is definitely not the end of the world and is not worth so much nerves spent.
3. Prepare everything in advance
Of course, if you speak in public – not your element, be sure to make homemade preparations. Write the text of your speech or at least the basic theses, train at home – in front of a mirror or family.
If you need to speak at an event, never go there at the last minute. Be sure to get to know the venue, make sure you have everything you need (presentations, screens, materials, etc.). The more confident you are that the rest of the performance is under control, the less you will be worried about your speech.
4. Examine your audience
The lion’s share of your performance depends on who will listen to you. If you have the opportunity to find out in advance who your audience will be, you can try to guess what they want you to hear, and therefore get their attention right away.
For example, if you are a guest lecturer at an educational institution or master class, it is better to know in advance what the approximate age of the audience is and what their average knowledge of your topic is. This will help to avoid both too complicated and, therefore, incomprehensible and boring lecture, and too simple, from which your listeners will not learn anything new.
Also, knowledge of the interests of the intended audience will help you to choose jokes or deviations from the topic, which, of course, decorate any public speech.
5. Involve the public in your speech
If you have studied your audience, this will be the next logical step. You can ask questions by forcing the audience to answer or raise their hands (e.g., “Which one of you has heard of …?”), or joke about familiar topics.
In addition, psychologists stress the importance of eye contact: try to look at your audience or at someone specific in the room or classroom, it will help your speech to sound more convincing. If the speaker only looks at the floor or ceiling, nothing prevents listeners from getting stuck in their smartphones and losing interest in their speech.
6. Tell stories from life
People like to listen to stories from personal experience. Sometimes a short story about how you yourself, for example, were able to solve a problem with what you are trying to sell now, are ten times more convincing than any statistics.
Of course, brevity is important: do not go into the details of your personal life too thoroughly, but try to quickly return to the main topic.
7. Take your time
One of the most common mistakes during public appearances is wrong speech topics. Most of us in life speak much faster than it is acceptable for a lecture or presentation. Try to pause if you feel you’ve spoken too fast, have a sip of water, take a breath.
It is also possible to arrange with a friend or relative in the room to give you a signal if you are in too much of a hurry.
Note that almost all successful speakers walk around the room and gesticulate during the performance. Take an example from them, do not hide at the pulpit or table!
At conferences, lengthy presentations and other work events, people often have to listen for hours to their speeches, so their attention is already deliberately distracted. If you move, smile and show your energy in every way, you have a much better chance of being heard.
9. Prepare good questions
You are unlikely to forget to prepare your speech in advance, but it is equally important to prepare questions and answers on your topic. Why is this necessary? Remember how many times at different events you have seen a similar picture: the person ends the speech, asks: “Does anyone have any questions?” and the answer is silence. You should allow time for questions, but you can never guarantee that someone will really want to ask you. In this case, you can get out of the situation as follows: “I am often asked the following question… You asked the question, you answered it. Everything is under control!
10. Do not refuse to communicate with the public after the speech
After you finish your speech, do not run away from the audience. Someone in the audience will probably want to ask you a question or express support. Take your business cards with you, hand them out, and use them to expand your network of contacts (you can also use other tips for networking).
It is likely that most of the audience will quickly forget what you were talking about, and this is normal. But people will appreciate it if you have been polite, attentive, and take your time to answer their questions.
Speaking in front of an audience is not necessarily an innate talent. Most often it is a skill that can be developed and improved. Remember that Demosthenes – the legendary speaker of the ancient Athens – in his youth was fluent and learned to speak clearly, typing pebbles in his mouth, and the famous comedian Jim Carrie at the beginning of his career struggled with a real phobia of public appearances. Make homemade preparations, train in front of the mirror, try to remain calm – and you can do it all! Good luck!