A fate worse than death?
Is your fear of public speaking right up there with the fear of death? Do your hands tremble? Do feel like you’re sweating uncontrollably? Do you fear failure? The first piece of advice I’ll give you is to take some deep breaths and try to relax. Your audience wants you to do well. After all, they have to listen to your speech. Do you think they want it to be bad?
My second piece of advice is to practice. Don’t memorize and don’t read, but do practice what you want to say out loud. If possible have someone listen and critique your speech. Another good option is to record yourself. This gives you a great opportunity to watch and listen to yourself, then make adjustments.
Last, think about the structure of the speech. Make sure you have a good opening. Don’t rely on jokes because they sometimes can fall flat. Instead, use a startling statistic or a story. Make sure you’re comfortable with the first two or three minutes, which can set the tone for the entire speech. Make sure the speech has a beginning, middle and end and try to engage the audience; don’t just lecture.
Public speaking doesn’t have to be a fate worse than death. It can actually be fun if you relax, smile and remember you’re the expert.