This mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute
you're born and never stops until you get up to speak in public. (anonymous)
According to The Book of Lists, most Americans fear public speaking more than they fear death.
Tips on Being a Better Speaker:
- Preparation is vital. Think about WHAT you need to say, HOW you want to say it, and WHY it is important to the group.
- Practice your presentation. You may want to ask a friend or roommate to listen to your comments. You may prefer privacy: stand in front of a mirror and stage a "dress rehearsal." Do whatever you have to do to boost your self-assurance that you will be an effective speaker.
- Know your audience. Your presentation will be better received if the group members can see that you have prepared your comments with them in mind.
- Be concise. Say what you came to say - and stop.
- Keep notes to a minimum. Reading to people is the surest way to put them to sleep - as children's bedtime stories demonstrate! If necessary, list major topics or headings on index cards; long notes or full texts will prove to be more of a bother than a help.
- Be yourself. [Who else are you going to be anyway?]
- To be more confident, look and act confident. Wear your sharpest, most professional outfit. Realize that a certain amount of anxiety before speaking is actually good, since it shows that you want to do well. Look at the audience and maintain eye contact with the "friendly faces." And if you forget something, just move on to your next point (you listeners won't know unless you tell them!).
- Seek out opportunities to speak in front of groups. The more you do it, the easier it gets!