Whether you are a seasoned orator or a novice hitting the stage for the first time, no one is immune to jitters and butterflies before doing a presentation. It’s natural to worry over each detail and how you may appear to the audience. But don’t fret, relax! Here are three ways to get over your fear of public speaking:
1. Practice your speech
The saying, “Practice makes perfect”, is true on so many levels. Practicing your public speaking presentation skills by repeating your core content helps to not only memorize the key points but builds a sense of comfort with the material. Being at ease with the content will show when you are in front of an audience.
Along with rehearsing your content, also practice your pacing and cadence during your presentation delivery. Pacing and cadence are simply how fast or slow you talk and where you pause when speaking. These little pauses or emphasis on certain syllables can create a smoother delivery instead of a choppy, sporadic delivery. It’s the difference between sounding awkward and stilted in your speech pattern or sounding effortless and therefore more confident and authentic.
Body language is also a key element to your presentation and one worth practicing as well. Rehearse how you want to stand or how you want to use your hands during the presentation. Too little movement and you may appear rigid. Too much movement and it could be distracting to the audience. And above all, smile when delivering your content if the subject matter allows. If the subject is more serious, at the very least, use a caring expression.
2. Practice visualizing success
Just like actors, singers, or other artists prepare with a lot of practice, they also use positive visualization to impact their performance. Imagine delivering the presentation, how the stage will look, and how the venue will appear. It’s tremendously helpful at getting your brain in sync and ready for a successful presentation. Positive thoughts are highly effective!
Visualization also helps you to adjust to the speaking environment beforehand and potentially to defuse some of your nervous energy. One more way to practice and get a taste of presenting before you have to do it for real is to join an organization like Toastmasters that promote public speaking and offers opportunities to do short presentations in front of a small audience.
3. Prep yourself
Get yourself ready by taking good care of yourself before your presentation. Perform deep breathing exercises or get physical exercise in as you lead up to the big day. A good night’s sleep is a must the night before your presentation. And the number one thing you should do the day of your presentation is ARRIVE EARLY! Give yourself time to settle in, review the setup, and do a dry run through. You’ll be glad you did!
Everyone gets nervous when speaking in front of a crowd, big or small. Keeping these three techniques in mind will enhance your public speaking presentation skills. Get ready to slay the stage!
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Kristen White is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker and entrepreneurial media expert. Her media credits included the award-winning film Shamanic Trekker, Journey to the Source and Mandala, a new series featuring best-selling authors in spirituality and wellness, both are available on Amazon Prime.
Kristen is the CEO of White Media Agency who provides online business marketing and development entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, life coaches and businesses in the wellness and personal development marketplace.