Active Learning

5 things to remember before speaking in public (number 3 will STUN you)

Post author and date will be displayed here.

Your palms are sweaty. Your knees are weak. Your arms feel heavy and you feel like you want to throw up your mum’s spaghetti. This isn’t an Eminem song, this is one of the scariest things you’ve had to do at school. Public speaking.

BUT DON’T WORRY! Poetry In Action is here to help!

Public speaking is scary for everyone. But here are 5 tips to remember to help you become a confident orator.

1. Nerves Are Normal

It’s totally normal to feel nervous! Everyone has been scared of public speaking at least once in their life, and some famous people who regularly get in front of crowds still get nervous. Adele has admitted she’s scared of audiences despite being one of the biggest pop stars ever. Even Prince Harry has admitted to feeling “super nervous, no matter the size of the crowd”.

Learning to acknowledge the nerves, and use that nervous energy to make your speech engaging and fun is something even professional speakers constantly have to think about, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t think you’re a confident speaker.

2. Practise Makes Perfect

It’s a cliché because it’s true. The more you practise speaking in front of people, the easier it gets. If you have an assignment that requires you to speak in public, practise in front of your parents or friends first. Not only will it help you understand what audiences respond well to, it will help you get used to presenting in front of people. If you are happy to do so, ask someone you trust for feedback, and it will take your public speaking to a whole new level.

3. Know Your Subject, Know Your Audience

What are you talking about? How well do you know the subject? Is it a funny speech, or a serious one?

Knowing your speech might seem a bit obvious, but often people will write a speech, practise it once or twice and then try and perform it. Make sure you properly understand everything you’re going to say. Look through your speech and find important points, then practise emphasising them by speaking slower or louder. Feel free to underline these words or sentences so you have a visual cue. No one else is going to read it, right?

Then think about your audience. Chances are you are going to know them personally anyway, but if not then think about what they are expecting. Do they want information? Focus on detail. Do they want to feel good and laugh? Emphasise jokes. And remember… PRACTISE!

4. Breathe

Breath is so important for speaking. If you want to speak loudly, you need to use a lot of breath behind your words, and you don’t want to be getting lightheaded and dizzy because you forgot to breathe while speaking.

After you finish a point, take a breath. Write it into your speech or palm cards if you have to. Controlling your breathing will help control your nerves, help build your confidence, and help project your voice. It’s OK to stop and take a second to catch your breath. In fact, it will probably make you look far more confident than if you just rush through your words.

5. Be yourself and have fun

You are the only you, and only you can do your speech the way you can do it, right? So have fun! Don’t try to be someone you’re not, audiences love to see someone that is genuine and real in front of them. Let your personality come out in your expressions, gestures, and words, and people will be hanging on your every word.

6. People want you to be amazing.

This may sound counterintuitive but it’s absolutely true.

Anxiety around public speaking often springs from people being scared of saying or doing something embarrassing. I think we’ve all had nightmares of a room full of people laughing at us.

However think about it. How many times have you heard speeches at a wedding or attended a seminar and truly wanted  the speaker to fail? 

As audience members we want to be inspired, touched, enthused – we want people who are presenting to us to be brilliant. Generally speaking people in groups don’t want to be bored or to watch someone fail.

We want them to succeed.

Once you accept that it can become your super power. You will step up to a microphone or a lectern knowing that everyone in that room has your back.

And then you will dazzle them.

Tagged in:

A list of post tags will be displayed here.

More blog goodness

Post Grid Block

Click for options.



Close Search