“Nothing breaks your fear of public speaking but public speaking.”
Unfair as that may seem, it’s true. As with most other things, practice makes perfect, and while that may be a cliche, cliches exist for a reason. Many young people come to the workplace with little experience of ever speaking in public. When the time comes to present to the team, or even to the top brass, they become tongue-tied, start sweating and end up making a mess of a presentation – even though they may be stars when it comes to their work, and know the subject itself thoroughly.
How can a tongue-tied employee gain confidence in making presentations and become a better speaker?
Practice: Find something to do that involves a lot of interaction with other people, if not public speaking. This could even be volunteering at a social activity or cause. This helps break down your self-consciousness. Find something that suits your interests and is more interesting than scary. If you do one, the next will seem far easier. Also:
Rehearse: When you actually have a presentation scheduled, rehearse for it. Time yourself and make sure you’re not taking too long – or ending way too quickly. Make sure you can talk without reading out your notes.
Consider your audience: Always keep your audience in mind when you are preparing. Is the subject too basic for this audience so they might be bored – or too advanced, so they’ll have trouble following it? Are the examples and case studies relevant to them?
Be energetic: Even if you have interesting information and you speak fluently and know your subject well, that’s not enough to keep your audience’s interest. Demand their attention by speaking loud enough to make it impossible for them to ignore you. Show them that you are interested in your topic – by your tone and your gestures as well as your words.
Get more business presentation tips, especially for shy people at work who need all the support they can get in this area!
Article contributed by Women’s Web
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