My biggest challenge in life was to overcome the fear of public speaking. All through my school and college life, I avoided participating in elocution and debates only because of this fear. Recently, I had to give a demo to my seniors on a CBT I created. The thought of standing before ace speakers and delivering a talk was daunting. But I decided to tackle my fear with this chance. I searched online for tips on doing away the fear of public speaking and here are some useful tips I found:
- Connect with listeners: Focus on topics that your audience can relate to. The opening message should make the difference because if you talk about any other subjects, your audience’s interest can wane.
- Understand your audience: Choose relevant topics to hook your audience. Understand your audience and their tastes to arrive at interesting topics. They will look forward to your presentation and enjoy it.
- Be optimistic: Creating an optimistic environment and hinting on the kind of presentation that the audience really wants to hear are appealing factors. A pessimistic approach makes the speaker look helpless before an expectant audience.
- Be concise: Keep your speech or presentation short and snappy. If possible, end it a few minutes earlier than the scheduled time. Put in a dash of fun by adding relevant metaphors to hold your audience’s interest till the end.
- Use an engaging title: If you have crafted an engaging presentation, why neglect the title? An appealing title will evoke your audience’s interest. It should be the red carpet to your presentation as it offers a gist of your subject in a unique way.
- Keep your closing statement short: While ending your presentation, avoid recapping each and every thing. Keep your closing statement short and to the point and convey your message succinctly.
- Practice: Practice quite a few times to gain confidence. Stand in front the mirror and run through your presentation. Or better still, videotape it. Ask your colleague or friend to observe you and offer helpful feedback. If you need any props such as charts or photos, have them with you during rehearsals. Videotaping can point out any faux pas which you can correct. Learn how to operate the projector or any multimedia equipment and make sure that function well. Continuous practice will make you confident.
- Know your subject well: Keep index cards with important points or phrases handy during your presentation. Interact with the audience, don’t be rigid or sound monotonous and boring.
And yes, my presentation went very well.
Do share your thoughts on the same.