As you walk to the podium, your heart feels as if it is going to literally explode from your chest. Your entire speech has vanished completely from your memory, leaving in its place anxiety, fear and embarrassment. As sweat pours down your face you wonder if you are ever going to ever overcome fear of public speaking.
Speaking in public can be a traumatic experience. In all honesty, however, effective public speaking is a technique that can be learned. Here are a few simple tips for public speaking that should help reduce your nerves the next time you have to make a speech or presentation.
1. Visualize Your Success - It has been said that "the mind can not achieve what it can not conceive". Basically this just means that if you do not think you will succeed, in most circumstances you will be right. Take a few minutes each day to visualize your success. Every time you do so, imagine your presentation going off without a flaw. Imagine seeing the smiles and delight of the audience.
2. Use Visual Aids - If you have ever taken a course in high school or college where you had to make a presentation then you most likely know the value of visual aids. Effective public speaking is much easier when you feel as if the audience has something else to concentrate on besides you. Presentation of a well-timed visual aid will give you a few seconds of relief from the audience's penetrating eyes.
3. Make Good Notes - A mistake that many speakers make is writing too much information down in their notes. You should have practiced sufficiently to have mastered the content you are presenting. In addition to a basic outline, jot down a few things you may want to do or say during your speech. For instance, after a few minutes you may want to pause and give the audience a second or two to reflect on what you just said. Putting this down in your notes may help remind of this strategy.