By Kurtis Tan
According to the Wall Street Journal, public speaking is the number one fear in the United States. The fear of public speaking ranks number one, and surpasses the fear of the death, which is number two! It is crazy to imagine that people have a greater fear of public speaking than they do of death.
In the business world, it is extremely important to be a confident and effective public speaker. That’s because public speaking is the best way to inspire masses of people and to invoke an emotional response within them. Most of the presentations we listen to in the business world are usually boring, lack passion and are completely dependent upon PowerPoint slides.
From my personally experience, being confident is the most important thing when it comes to public speaking. I listed some of the tips below that have helped me to become a better public speaker.
- Watch successful public speakers
One of the easiest ways to become a better public speaker is to learn from the best public speakers. If you want to be good at basketball, learn it from Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, learn from a person that is already good at it. Do what people do, say what people say, you will get what people get every single time. We are living in a digital age and the world is flat, YouTube is one of the greatest resources for education on the Internet. Study successful public speakers, and learn from them.
- Look sharp and be confident
Often the better you look, the more ready and professional you will feel at the presentation. Dress confident and look sharp when you step in front of a crowd.
- Know your material
It is extremely important to understand your material in side out. The more you understand your material, the more confidants you will be. “Winging it” is never a good idea, and it is an awful habit to develop.
Practice does not necessarily make your public speaking perfect, but practice will make your public speaking skill permanent. The more you practice your public speaking, the more refined skill is going to be.
- Fake it till you make it
No one was born to be a great public speaker so when you have zero confidence, try to act like you do. Also the longer you are faking it, the more comfortable you will feel in front of the group of people.
- Know your audience
It is important to have interaction with the audience, when you are speaking to a group of people. The only way to engage your audience effectively is to know them, and appeal to their interests. Spend some time to do some research on your audience, give a relatable presentation.
- Take the focus off yourself
The key to this tip is to focus on the message, and you are there to present a topic or sharing an idea. Focus on the message you are trying to deliver instead of talking about yourself.
The seven tips above have helped me to become a better public speaker, and it has helped me to relate to my audience more effectively. Lastly all the tips above are just simply suggestions, and the most important lesson to be a better public speaker is to have confidence in you.
In summary, everyone will have a different style of speaking. When you try to sound like someone else, you will come off as a recording, and you will never become a good public speaker. While trying to give the best presentation, try to enjoy the experience. The audience can feel if you are nervous, so try to relax and be positive because the audiences will feel that way as well.
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.”