Enhance Your Speaking Skills with These Easy-to-follow Tips
Picture this: you were about to deliver a speech when you realized you suddenly lost your voice. Worse, you were having terrible stomach pains, and it felt like hundreds of ants were crawling underneath you skin. No, you were not sick. You were just suffering from stress and anxiety.
Public speaking is no joke. There is a huge amount of pressure involved. A lot of those people are waiting for you to make a single mistake. Moreover, simply standing there makes you an obvious subject to ridicules and criticisms.
But learning how to talk in front of someone is very important. How else can you get a job or run a business? With no public speaking skills, it is hard to communicate your feelings with others.
There is help with anxiety. Beat it with these tips:
1. Reduce your anxiety attacks by preparation. You are less likely to commit errors if you are prepared. Create a draft at least a week before you deliver it. Know the venue, time and date of the event, and the types of audience you are speaking to. Accustom yourself with the use of certain tools like projectors and PowerPoint.
2. Practice a lot. Practice your speech out loud and if possible with a mock audience. Greatly reduce filler words or stammers. Discover the proper techniques of breathing and pausing. Revise the draft as many times as you can until you are confident with it. If you are using tools, practice along with them. And each time you rehearse, imagine you are doing it in the actual event.
3. Visualize. You can learn how to overcome anxiety through visualization. This strategy allows you to face your fears head-on. You also feed subliminal messages to change your negative thinking.
Here is an example: Every day prior to your speaking engagement, close your eyes and imagine yourself standing in front of the stage or on the podium, delivering your lines. While doing so, the audience is cheering you on with positive messages like “You can do it!” “We are here for you!” “We appreciate you!” Allow yourself to revel to the affirmations provided by the audience. Then open your eyes, look at yourself in the mirror, and say “You are a superstar.”
4. Present in front of your friends and family. Sometimes you get too caught up with yourself it is hard to spot your mistakes. Thus, when you rehearse, do so in front of family and friends. Encourage them to criticize your piece, movements, and manner of delivery. It is a lot better to be judged by them than by strangers.
5. Join organizations. Dealing with anxiety does not have to be accomplished alone. You can join organizations such as Toastmasters International. They help people from all walks of life with the art and science of public speaking through lectures and simulations.
6. Dress the part. What you wear can boost your self-confidence. You should also maintain proper posture. It encourages correct breathing and makes you look authoritative.