Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing well. But, too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here’s how you can control your nervousness and make effective, memorable presentations:
1. Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
2. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.
3. Know your material. If you’re not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.
4. Relax. Ease tension by doing exercises.
5. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.
6. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They don’t want you to fail.
7. Don’t apologize. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience’s attention to something they hadn’t noticed. Keep silent.
8. Concentrate on the message — not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate
9. Turn nervousness into positive energy. Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.
10. Gain experience. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need.
11. Know your natural style. Impromptu speaking is much easier if you know your own natural speaking style.
12. Make a point. Even when you give an impromptu speech, you need structure. The classic “opening, body, and conclusion” falls in place if everything you say relates to point that you reveal at the end.
BENEFITS OF PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING
• As your improved communication skills become obvious within the workplace, increased visibility, recognition and promotion will follow.
• Your improved presentation skills will win you the respect and admiration of your colleagues and employees – and make them wonder what you did to change!
• Leadership skills acquired through professional communication will increase your management potential.
• You will acquire an increased ability to motivate and persuade, making you more effective as a supervisor or manager.
Leadership can not be learned in a day! It takes practice. Company success also depends on communication. Employees face an endless exchange of ideas, messages, and information as they deal with one another and with customers day after day.
How well they communicate can determine whether a company quickly grows into an industry leader or joins thousands of other businesses mir ed in mediocrity.