If your heart pounds at the sight of a listening group with eyes all over you, there is a way out. Public Speaking is not going to a war.
Like it or not, as an entrepreneur you might have to deliver speeches and make presentations sometimes. Does public speaking make you nervous? The good news is that you are not the only one. If statistics are to be believed, 75% of the public speakers suffer from stage fright and last minute doubts. But that has never deterred them from taking the plunge and making it happen.
So, what does it actually take to make an effective speech delivery or a memorable presentation?
Here are a few tips to start with!
Take your TIME to Start
It is not really important that you start talking as soon as you get on to the stage. Actually, this is an indicator of nervousness which the audience would be able to detect quite easily. The best approach would be to walk on the stage confidently, take a deep breath to relax, look around at the audience and get a grip on your nerves. Once you are relaxed enough to begin, then go ahead with your speech. Though this may seem to be a slow process, it gives the audience an impression that you are confident and fully prepared to take charge of the situation.
Be a GIVER, Not a TAKER
There is no denying the fact that you make a presentation with an intention to pitch a sale or gain something from it. However, if experts are to be believed, the audience does not easily connect with speakers who have their own motives at heart. What you need to do is to impart some sort of knowledge to the audience and give them importance. It is easier to win the audience by being a ‘giver’ rather than a ‘taker’.
Make That EYE Contact
This might seem a bit hard but the truth is that when you make eye contact with your audience, you actually make an extra effort to connect with them. It would be a good idea to focus on the faces of people one at a time as you speak. This way, you not only make a connection with each individual present in the group but the audience as a whole.
Get a GRIP on your PACE
When you are nervous about making a speech, you tend to speak faster as you want to quickly get it over with. However, when you speak fast, you tend to make more mistakes and fumble a lot with words. Though the audience may not mind a few errors here and there, too many errors would turn them off and you may end up losing the attention already. Speaking slowly while emphasizing on the important words and sentences is what successful public speakers do.
Focus on the Positive Audience
Remember that most of the times, you audience would be a mix of positive as well as negative people. There would be people who would agree with your ideas and show you support and then there would be others whose body language may make you more nervous. What you need to do in such situations is to turn your focus towards the people who seem to be in full support of you. Ignore the ones who seem to disagree. Making an eye contact with your supporters will actually allay your nerves a bit.
There is nothing wrong in feeling nervous before you get on to the stage to speak. But don’t let this spoil your chances of making a good presentation. Convince yourself that you are going to do well and give yourself positive anecdotes. This will actually help get a grip on your racing heart.
Sign off with a positive note and don’t forget to thank your audience for hearing you out and applauding you. Public speaking may seem hard but it is not really a tough thing.
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