That’s how many people react when they learn they have any sort of public speaking ahead of them. Presentations, toasts, and speeches are all enough to inspire feelings of fear, nervousness, and above all, anxiety. Adults and kids alike struggle with what seems to be a monumental task: speaking in front of others.
However, there is no need to worry! Giving a speech is not impossible. By understanding the right way to prepare, you can easily overcome your nerves and deliver a speech to remember. Check out these five easy tips for better speeches.
One root cause of the anxiety many feel before a speech is a fear that their nerves will be visible to their audience. While is a truly terrifying thought, it is important to remember that your nerves are obvious only to you.
According to Business Insider, one of the most powerful ways to calm your nerves before a speech is to remind yourself that your nervousness exists only in your head. In other words, no matter how nervous or anxious you feel about the speech, the audience can only see you. In many cases, according to Business Insider, speakers who see videos of themselves giving a speech report being surprised at how composed they look compared to how they felt internally.
Another tip comes from the anxiety experts at Psychology Today: allow yourself to make mistakes.
Before a speech, many people worry about possible mistakes. Stumbling over words, speaking too fast, or omitting important information are all points of pre-speech anxiety. However, if you pay attention to any speech, even those given by seasoned politicians or lecturers, you will catch a mistake or two. The important thing is to accept that during your speech you will likely make at least one misstep.
The key is to accept these mistakes and allow yourself to move forward with your speech. If you can keep your momentum, your audience will likely never notice.
Practice, Practice, and Practice
Though it might sound cliché, practicing before you speak is perhaps the most effective way to fight your public speaking jitters. Reviewing your speech repeatedly will help you familiarize yourself with your topic and anticipated audience. Even further, practice will enable you to predict which portions of your speech are likely to give you difficulty, erasing any uncertainty you may have.
Another helpful option for increased practice is to seek out speaking opportunities. As seen in this article from The Muse, some speakers report a jolt in confidence from simply speaking more often. Consider volunteering to lead meetings at work or various club functions. Even starting small can make big difference in your speech confidence.
You’ve done it. You’ve written the perfect speech. But how can you be sure to deliver it perfectly? For many, pre-speech nerves revolve not being able to deliver their message as it was written. The solution is simple: don’t.
While this doesn’t mean that you must stray from your pre-speech plan, it does mean that simply staring down and reading your speech verbatim is a bad idea. Not only does this approach lead to an awkward delivery, but, as this speech expert points out, it is much more likely to lead to mistakes or confusion.
Instead of a written speech, consider the use of an extended outline. By reminding yourself of general topics rather than forcing a pre-determined script, you can allow yourself flexibility even during your speech. Your nerves will thank you.
Get Help From A Speech Professional
One of the best ways you can remedy pre-speech nerves is to familiarize yourself with the speech strategies of the professionals. By enrolling in a speech class, you can practice and learn from others in a comfortable, no pressure environment. The speech gurus at Presenting Perfection are ready to help. Contact them today!