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Many fear public speaking. It only takes one or two unsuccessful attempts to convince us that we are just horrible at public speaking! However, public speaking is a life skill each one of us must-have. You need to be able to communicate well. You need to have stable communication skills to present yourself well during job interviews or company presentations.
Our egos stand at the root of this fear. “What will they think of me?” we wonder. “I’ll sound stupid!” we worry. Well, let me tell you this: people don’t care that much. They’re primarily focused on how we—with our experience, skills, and talents—can help them.
Here are five tricks that will help you become a better public speaker:
- Start strong. Imagine a lecturer who enters the lecture hall and immediately begins blabbing on and on about the chosen topic. Boring, right? To avoid this, you can rely on starting strong! Salute the audience. Share a personal anecdote. Cite a famous phrase or a shocking statistic. Spark your audience’s interest.
- Smile. Your appearance matters, and so does your body language. Smile, stand up straight with your shoulders back and employ the right-hand gestures. Make sure to dress appropriately. These things express your seriousness—and your expertise.
- Practice. You may have heard of the 10,000 hours rule. You have to put in 10,000 hours to become a master at any given thing. Nothing can replace practice. Therefore, try to practice as much as you can. The more you do it, the better you’ll become.
- Know your audience. Consider the qualities and age of your audience. What do these people expect? How will they be dressed? What do they want? Make sure to arrive early, just so you can look around the space, try out your microphone, and turn your presentation on. This will help you avoid mistakes and tech glitches during the presentation.
- Make pauses. Make a pause before or after key moments. Take a breath or two to stress the significance of what you just said—or what you will say. This leads your audience to pay more attention, to expect to hear something truly valuable!
Psychologist, family therapist, author
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