The Public Speaking Novice

As a first-time public speaker, you may have a terrible fear gripping you at the very thought of standing in front of an eager crowd. Your legs shake. Your hands shiver. Your throat dries up. Your tongue gets frozen. Your mind becomes blank. You probably feel a little nauseous.

Really, you would rather die than be there because that seems like the only relief. The good news is that you aren’t alone in your fear. Most public speakers have been fearful when they began. They simply persisted and learned to overcome the fear. You can too.

Learn to woo your crowds, before they boo you. This you may do successfully by getting to know the members of your audience. Find out about those that have come to hear you. You may have to do a little bit of research to know their average age, education or their level of awareness of the subject you have chosen for your speech and so on. It is also important to gauge their mood.

Understand what message they want you to deliver. Learn how best to package that message in your speech. Design your speech to suit the level as well as the mood of your audience. Choose the most suitable words and expressions possible. Think about appropriate body language to fortify your speech.

Establish and maintain eye contact with the audience. If you do, people will pay better attention to your speech. Intersperse it with a few spicy or humorous anecdotes to make it interesting. Remember if the crowds think you are a bore, you may hear them snore. In certain circumstances, encouraging audience participation will do the trick of beating boredom.

Speech organization

Effective speeches are always organized very well. You must have a catchy beginning, an informative middle and a stimulating closing. The opening of your speech should be such as to rivet the attention of the audience. Remember that the closing will decide the degree of success of your speech.

However, the bulk of your speech lies in the body, the middle, where the main points and sub-points are presented. In the end, a brief summary of the speech will have to round it off. The end is just as important as the beginning because it is what the crowds take home with them as they leave.

Preparing yourself

Writing down your speech, revising it to your satisfaction, rehearsing it systematically and, standing in front of a mirror or imaginary crowds, delivering it are a few of the steps you can take in order to ensure your success as a public speaker. The better prepared you are with your speech; the higher will be your chances of facing your audience fearlessly.

Also, it will help you to give a more effective and impressive speech. Do proper ground-work and arm yourself with appropriate preparation. The more prepared you are, the more confidence and less fear you will have. You will be able to stand in front of large audiences and captivate them with your well-rehearsed speech. You will receive your reward for your labor when they stand up and clap and applaud.

Mark Coburn

Mark has a genuine passion for inspiring people and organisations towards transforming their dreams and goals into reality. His specific areas of focus include leadership development, team building, smarter goal setting, work life balance and interpersonal communication skills for business professionals.

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