Speaking in public is difficult for most of us simply because we never do it. At most, we interact with a small group. Without conditioning and training, it is tough to do any task, you need to develop skills in public speaking by building your knowledge and skills in it. Training in public speaking provides skill development in planning, preparing and presenting a presentation.
1. Know your Audience: It is essential that your material engages the audience. Use humour, anecdotes and interesting incidents in your presentation to retain the interest of the audience.
2. Know your Setting: You may either get information about the venue, see its photographs, or personally visit it so that you are familiar with your surroundings when giving the presentation.
3. Create an Outline: Building an outline of your speech will help you to make corrections before you have written it. Gather all required materials before you create the outline. Review it once or twice before finalising it.
4. Get Familiar with the Technology: If you are using a projector, a sound recorder, or any other equipment, ensure that you know it inside out. Think of a backup plan in case the equipment does not work as expected.
5. Read Aloud to Edit: After you have finalised your speech, read it aloud to listen to notes that do not sound right. It might be a complex sentence, an archaic word or a humourous anecdote that does not sound funny after all.
6. Mentally Prepare: A good way to mentally accustom yourself to the event is to visualise it in your mind. Before you deliver the presentation, imagine yourself doing so. Do it again and again to make your mind familiar with the idea.
7. Prepare your Body Language: When in front of an audience, remember that your body is speaking as much as you are. Train yourself in body language. Practice how you would stand, walk and use facial expressions during the presentation. Ensure that your body language matches your words.
8. Think Positive: Whenever you think about the presentation, focus on thinking positive. Think of yourself giving an outstanding presentation with confidence and the audience engaged. It will help you to overcome nervousness.
9. Expect the Unexpected: Expect that you might need to make adjustments on the fly. Imagine interruptions or something happening that could throw you off balance, and then see how you would correct the situation. It is mostly our surprise at an unexpected happening that freezes us into inaction. Prepare for the unexpected and you will be able to handle it brilliantly.