Whether you’re giving a presentation in class or are in the midst of a job interview, being an effective public speaker is an important skill. It also happens to be a common fear. If the age-old trick of imagining an audience in their underwear isn’t helping you get over your phobia, follow these tips for effective public speaking:
As you get ready for your interview or presentation, make sure you research thoroughly. To be an effective speaker, you need to know your topic inside and out. If you are knowledgeable, it will be easier for you to relax and inject humor and personality into your speech.
Read through your speech or prepared responses to common interview questions out loud until you become comfortable with the material. If possible, recreate the environment in which you will be speaking publicly and revise your speech if you detect any awkwardness.
3. Know your audience
To be an effective public speaker, you need to know your audience. Think about the people to whom you will be delivering your presentation, and tailor your speech accordingly. You should also maintain eye contact and interact with your audience throughout the presentation. In an interview, remember to be professional at all times.
Before you begin to speak, take a few deep breaths. Then, address the audience to buy yourself a bit of time and calm your nerves before giving your presentation. If you still have nervous energy, try to transform it into enthusiasm for the topic you are speaking about.
As you give your presentation, focus on the central message of your speech. Going off on too many tangents can confuse the audience and make it difficult for you to get back on track. Instead of focusing on your public speaking anxieties, concentrate on the message you are trying to convey.