Nine Tricks for Public Speaking
Public speaking is something we’re all likely to have to do at some point. It could be on an academic level, when we are doing our studies, or in a professional situation.
These situations tend to provoke anxiety, sometimes so much so that it completely overwhelms us. So what can we do? There is a series of tricks you can follow to control your feelings when you have to give a speech in front of a large crowd. . . continue reading to discover them!
“If you can talk brilliantly enough about a subject, you can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered.”
– Stanley Kubrick
Prepare to speak in public
If your anxiety is triggered when speaking in public, it will become a force that works against you. However, if you only feel somewhat anxious at the thought of public speaking, that may actually force you to better prepare your speech. In fact, the first trick to keep in mind is to prepare your presentation.
To do so, you must establish the time you have to prepare and practice. You can divide your time and dedicate blocks of time to prepare.
“A well-prepared speech is already nine-tenths delivered.”
Our second piece of advice is that the speech should be clear and easy for the public to follow. You must be clear about the objective you want to achieve and who will constitute your audience. This way, you can choose the right structure and tools to deliver your speech. The audience determines the starting point and level of depth you can reach.
Third, to be successful, you must be careful not to read your speech word for word. How? Develop adequate support such as an outline or short notes. This could even include an audiovisual presentation that guides your speech.
Practice, practice, practice
What you can do to improve your presentation doesn’t stop there. Once you have adequately prepared your material, you have to start practicing. This is the fourth step, rehearse your speech at home. Yes, out loud. That way you can hear what needs improvement before bringing it before your audience.
However, not only should you practice at home. A fifth trick is to go to where you will give the speech and practice it there. Doing so will help you manage anxiety by familiarizing yourself with the place where the presentation will take place. In addition, it will allow you to verify that adequate equipment will be available and that you know where to enter and exit.
After this, there is only one thing to do before delivering your speech – relax. Putting into practice some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing will help you ensure that nerves won’t get the better of you and make you forget your speech. This will ensure you don’t forget the key points of your speech too.
The moment has arrived – what do you do while speaking in public?
Once you have started your presentation, it is important to put some further strategies into motion. The seventh tip we have to offer is that you should pay attention to visual contact. It is extremely important to look at the attendees, without fixing on a single person or a particular point in the room, at least during moments of pausing. Nor should you draw conclusions about how the audience is evaluating you by their faces, because it will make you more nervous.
“Sometimes we speak much but say little. To express more, it is better to think more.”
-Honore de Balzac
It is useful to focus on what we are saying. How? The eighth trick that will make your presentation successful is non-verbal communication. In order to maintain the attention of the audience, it is important that your volume, speed, and tone remain at medium levels with subtle variations.
Finally, the ninth trick that will help you keep the audience’s attention and master the art of public speaking is to use humor to provoke a smile from your audience. Not a laugh, we don’t want to distract too much from the information. Also, remember that we all make mistakes, so if you slip up or draw a blank, just dismiss it and continue with your speech. . .Go for it!It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Becerra M. La habilidad de hablar en público. Una experiencia formativa con estudiantes universitarios. Revista Electrónica Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado [Internet]. 2017 [Consultado 30 mar 2022]; 20(3):117-129. Recuperado de: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=217052050009
- Orejudo S, Nuño J, Ramos T, Herrero M, Fernández T. El desarrollo de la competencia para hablar en público en el aula a través de la reducción de la ansiedad ante esta situación. Estudio previo. Revista Electrónica Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado [Internet]. 2005 [Consultado 30 mar 2022]; 8(1):1-6. Recuperado de: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=217017146005