Even if you are regular at giving presentations at work, school or events, you may still sense that fear of standing in front of a large audience to talk. It is the most significant fear among many, bigger even than the fear of death!
If you have specific issues delivering your speech, you are not alone. Even experienced speakers can become debilitated by anxious thoughts and encounter an error. What you should know is that a considerable portion of the anxiety associated with public speaking can be reduced. It is done by paying more attention to the most common issues encountered in the process:
Lack of confidence – there is one thing sure about public speaking: if you lack confidence, you will alienate the audience. That is because nervousness is accompanied by a negative visual and vocal cues, which the audience picks up easily. In other words, people are more likely to focus on your bad sides, than on your best. The best way to fix this is to prepare perfectly for your presentation and invest time in practice and preparation. That way you will have a sense of control, which overtakes anxiety. That will also affect the audience and make them believe in your message.
Lack of attention to the audience – if you don’t know the audience and don’t pay attention to them, the presentation will hardly be successful. You will do well to research the culture, values, age and level of knowledge before getting in there and delivering a speech. All of that knowledge will help you get the right content to them. There is also contact with the audience to think about. Don’t avoid eye contact and try to read their expressions. Try to attract their attention by adding a little humour to your presentation and explaining it benefits them personally.
Disorganisation – organizing and preparing your presentation material is among the most important tasks. You should think about researching your audience, the topic of interest and sources of information. Create an attention-catching introduction and craft a way to present every point engagingly. Be sure to recap with a conclusion that is precise and straight to the main topic. Do not speak on the fly, because that is a sure recipe for disaster unless you are a master at improvisation.
Lack of time management – before you deliver the speech, you must practice is thorough. Say the words, as that will give you a clear clue what to improve and what you are doing wrong. Mind your voice and intonation, try to project enthusiasm. Record yourself during the practice process so that you can catch glitches that would otherwise disrupt your speech. Rehearsal also contributes to familiarity with the material.
Time management – often speeches prove to be a little short or too long. The most common problem with speakers is that they run overtime, as they haven’t adequately rehearsed their delivery. In general, you should prepare to give an 8-minute speech within the time frame of 10 minutes so that you don’t overextend.
These are the standard issues of public speaking, which you must learn to overcome. Only then can you deliver fantastic speeches.