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The Art of Public Speaking

Have you ever been invited to give an impromptu small speech or some remarks and your mouth immediately ran dry? Or do you experience butterflies in your stomach or sweaty palms every moment you think of a speech you are expected to give?

Most if not all of those renown orators suffered the same problem at one point, including the famous business magnate, Warren Buffet. Speaking to an audience, no matter how small, has never been easy and the fear of not conveying the information you were intended to keeps creeping in. The what if I fail to deliver, forget my speech, bore the audience, get booed, start stammering, etc keeps ringing in your mind and all you can wish is not do it.

Nevertheless, public speaking is one important skill, that when nurtured well and perfected, can open great doors for you. Speaking in a public forum helps build your self-confidence, and as this happens one becomes comfortable speaking to people or when around people. Also, learning the art of public speak means conveying a message to a big audience within a short period.

Finally, it’s the best way in which you can show your prowess in a given area or topic, and who knows, you may end up attracting potential business partners or building yourself a fan base.

However, messing up your speech in a public forum could be equally dangerous and can block many opportunities. Imagine losing a business deal or a promotion just because you couldn’t pass your point?

In essence, the inability to speak publicly can ruin your profession as well as people’s perception of you.

We've discussed ways to overcome a phobia of public speaking in the past. However,

This is why it is very important to ensure you overcome this intimidating fear and become a better public speaker. Here are some tips:

Prepare prepare prepare.

Prepare your presentation early enough and go through it as many times as you can. This boosts your confidence and also helps you prepare for any question you are likely to be asked.

Practice practise practise.

Nothing can ever take the place of practice, it’s the only way to perfection. You can practice in front of a mirror, with a friend, or even by volunteering in available forums.

Body language.

Be aware of your body language lest you betray your nervousness or uncertainty to the audience. Ensure you maintain eye contact, smile, use natural gestures, take deep breaths, and stand straight. Also walk around if in a large podium.

Engage the audience.

Rather than speaking alone, ask leading questions to the audience and encourage participation. This gives you a time to pause and retrieve your train of thoughts. Avoid using words such as just, I think, or actually in your speech.

Record your speech and listen to it/watch it.

This helps you familiarise with your voice as well as identify areas that need polishing.

Relax and breathe...

You can do this by taking a few deep breaths prior to the presentation, light exercise, sipping warm water, as well as thinking positively.

Talk to us.

Therapy is another way to deal with nervousness. It helps calm your mind and divert it from the likelihood of messing up, to having positive thoughts.

Jarvis Hypnotherapy offers a range of therapies which can perfectly help you overcome the fear of speaking in a public forum.

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