When I was in high school, I had much fun participating in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) because of the opportunities I had to compete in Impromptu Speaking competitions. As I went on to college, I found that I also enjoyed giving presentations about books and other subjects. Despite the fact that I enjoy public speaking, however, I am aware that many people don’t. Indeed, public speaking is still cited as the biggest fear that people have. In recognizing that many people feel intimidated when they have to give a speech, I believe that they can be helped and encouraged by several simple tips:
1. Use Flashcards To Prepare And Give The Speech.
This tip has a two-fold purpose. In using flashcards to prepare your speech, you increase the likelihood that you will retain the information you are recording on them. Therefore when you give the speech, you are less likely to have to refer to the flashcards for data. At the same time, having the flashcards with you when you give your speech can reduce any tension you might experience regarding the likelihood of forgetting important information. In having the flashcards right there, you know all of the information pertaining to your speech is at your disposal.
2. Memorize The Most Important Points of the Speech.
Even if you choose to use flashcards when you give your speech, a substantive amount of it should be memorized. Why? Because it increases the likelihood that you can meet the gaze of several members from your audience rather than constantly reaching for your flash cards. Additionally, it increases the likelihood that you will not experience the stress that results from uncertainty regarding whether you really know and can articulately present your material.
3. Make Eye Contact With Your Audience.
Studies show that individuals are more interested in speeches marked by an animated and engaged presenter rather than presentations in which the speaking subject is withdrawn or reserved. One way to cultivate the animated and engaged disposition that audiences prefer is to periodically make eye contact with your audience. This measure shows your listeners that you are paying attention to the way they respond to the information you give them. Moreover, it precludes them from thinking that you are adopting the sort of stand-offish and uninvolved demeanor that you might convey by staring at a clock in the back of the room instead of your audience. As noted by BusinessKnowHow.com in discussing the issue of public speaking, not making eye contact creates a barrier between you and your audience.
As mentioned earlier, giving a speech can be a daunting endeavor for many people. Yet I think the three tips I have listed above can help you as you prepare to give your next speech. Good luck!