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You don’t need to be a politician or a motivational orator to deliver a speech in public.
Being a member of the modern society, we interact with different people daily, and communication is a key to successful interactions between human individuals. Every person needs to speak in public from time to time, no matter what the aim of the speech is, whether suggesting something to your friends, carrying out a project in front of the class, or sharing your business ideas with the colleagues.
It seems we all need good communication skills, right?
Actually, it’s a rhetorical question. But there is one truth: most people have a fear of speaking in public, and to deliver a speech is the worst-case scenario.
A fear of speaking in public, a.k.a. glossophobia, remains the number one phobia. If it’s hard for you to believe in it, let’s find out what statistics say:
- 3.2 million of Americans have a fear of crowded or public places
- 41 percent of people are afraid of public speaking
- 75 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety
All in all, delivering a speech is not that easy. You need to be an expert in the niche you’re talking about as well as a self-confident person to gain your audience’s respect in order to grab their attention.
Want to know the best part?
Although it’s nearly impossible to beat the fear of speaking in public quickly, there are some actionable ways to help you get ready to deliver a speech.
1) Know Your Subject from A to Z
Writing down your speech is not enough to deliver it successfully. You need to do deep research that would help you know everything about your topic from A to Z. If you know your subject inside-out, you can achieve a lot: it’s nearly impossible to shock you with a question from the audience.
A good speaker always knows much more than anyone in the audience, so people listen to him and respect his knowledge. Thus, you must be an expert in the field of your topic as it gives you a benefit.
2) Practice as Much as You Can
The more you rehearse your speech, the more confident you get.
Practicing your speech is not just about learning the materials by heart; it’s also about training your body language, adjusting voice volume, and learning about mistakes you might make while speaking.
If you’re afraid of a failure, do your best to understand how you look while delivering a speech. Record yourself and analyze your mistakes, ask a friend to give constructive feedback, and get ready for different types of questions from your audience. It’s harder to let you down if you’re ready for everything.
The most important part of practicing your speech is to visualize your success. Believe it or not, your audience doesn’t want you to fail; they are waiting for an interesting and inspirational speech, and you should work on your worries in order not to fail on the scene.
Practice as much as you can, and it will give you a huge benefit.
3) Prepare Notes Before You Deliver a Speech
No matter how many times you have practiced your speech, you can lose the track of your thoughts once the speech anxiety strikes you. To keep on sharing your thoughts in a logical manner, you need to have notes as they are your biggest helpers.
It goes without saying that notes make a speech less stressful. Thus, you’d better write down theses in order not to forget all important elements of your speech.
Here are some tips on preparing notes:
- choose a small format for your notes (to make them fit your hand)
- try to write important info only
- use words and phrases instead of sentences
If you have notes, it doesn’t mean that you should rely on them: a good speaker will never lose eye contact with the audience, so get ready to speak from your thoughts and use notes in case of an emergency.
4) Get Enough Sleep
To deliver a speech well, you need to get enough rest.
If you sleep well before the day X, you get energy to feel and perform well. Quality sleep affects your brain functions, so you can improve concentration, which is so important when you work with a large audience. For instance, you can respond to stressful questions better.
So, a good sleep helps you:
- increase productivity
- enhance concentration
- boost brain functions
On average, people need 8-9 hours of a good sleep a day. If you have an important speech, go to the bed earlier to rest well.
5) Drink a Cup of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has a brilliant effect on the nervous system. This herb contains different therapeutic substances that help to soothe ragged nerves and, therefore, fight anxiety. This sort of tea is rich in antioxidants, so it also reduces stress.
While most speakers are afraid of the upcoming speech, causing them anxiety, knowing the ways how to reduce it is a good idea. Try to get rid of your worries before standing on stage in front of your audience.
To get ready for your speech, take a pause, grab a cup of chamomile tea, and keep calm – you’re going to deliver an outstanding speech.
Although it might be hard to roll up your sleeves and get ready for delivering a speech, there are at least five actionable ways on how to boost this process, and they are listed above.
The key thing to remember is NOT to memorize the material – but hone your presentation skills. After all, being a good speaker needs time and effort. You can deliver a speech well if you work on your mistakes.
Don’t be nervous! You will be able to stand out from the crowd.