No More Fear: Public Speaking Techniques That Work
Everyone’s heard the old adage “When you’re on stage, imagine everyone in your audience is in their underwear!” While that can be an effective way to “break the ice” within yourself, it isn’t going to actually make the audience more receptive to what you’ve got to present them with. Even with that old adage in mind, there are still a lot of public speaking techniques and tricks that will help you get past that fear and give that totally awesome presentation you know is buried inside somewhere. Here are a few quick tips:
- Finish your presentation early. Not just a day or two early, but even a week or two in advance. Not only will this give you the opportunity to go over the information in your presentation thoroughly, but it gives you time to make changes and get familiar with them if the need arises.
- Practice your presentation over and over and over again. Do the presentation in the mirror, to family, to friends, and even to strangers on the train.
- Memorize all the text. Don’t use note cards if at all possible as those can get out of order and kill your flow. This one point alone could be one of the most beneficial public speaking techniques available.
- If you’re using Powerpoint make sure you’ve got several backup copies in safe locations. Email one to a Gmail or Hotmail account, or use box.net or Skydrive as an off-premises backup. Also have a copy on a flash drive in at least one location. That way, if all kinds of problems ensue, at least one copy will survive and be valid. Not specifically one of the most well known public speaking techniques, but it does help you relax knowing your data is safe.
- Use version control software to make sure any different copies of your presentation that may be in different locations are as current as possible.
- Pretend you’re alone on stage. With current technology, it’s perfectly acceptable to turn your back on your audience while pointing out items on a screen, so take advantage of that ability to “hide”
- And do use the underwear trick when you are facing your audience. However, for those in the audience that are of the opposite sex, try to stick to funny boxers and bloomers as imagining something a bit more risqué could make it more difficult than ever to finish the presentation.
There are a lot more tips and tricks for public speaking techniques that make giving a public talk easier. And keep in mind the more often you do a public presentation the easier it will get. While you may never become totally comfortable giving one, that’s OK. Most people that have to give presentations are just like you. A bit nervous, but knowing that it will be OK in the end.