It’s easy to assume the world’s greatest leaders are all extroverts who love talking in front of people. Contrary to popular belief, though, many are–and were–the opposite. Think big name introverts like Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, Albert Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt–all leaders and innovators in their respective fields.
Nevertheless, all these introvert legends had to master one thing: public speaking. If you’re like them, just the thought of a five-minute discourse could haunt you weeks before you give it. We have some good news, though: with a few small tricks, any introvert can avoid embarrassment, stage fright, and jitters while behind the pulpit.
Not sure where to start to make an upcoming speech less nerve-wracking? Here are five tips for when you deliver a public speaking engagement.
Table of Contents
Public Speaking Begins With Breathing
Breathing is the core of everything your body does. Particularly how it reacts to stress. If you are freaking out and panicking, your breathing is off the hook as well.
So, before speaking, take deep, slow, even breaths. You will be amazed how quickly your presentation skills improve as you become calm and composed.
Know Your Speaking Type
Are you the sort of person who can talk off the cuff or one who needs a rigid outline? Neither option is inherently better than the other. Know which one you are and prepare yourself accordingly.
If you can be extemporaneous, then provide some general talking points as a loose structure. If you struggle, though, then prepare more detail for you to read verbatim. Consider diction training to aid you where you’re weakest.
Understand Your Audience
Telling jokes can often alleviate nerves. However, you wouldn’t want to be cracking too many during a funeral or formal business lunch.
Understand your audience and what they are looking for. Speaking to them, rather than just speaking, helps you do a better job.
Do a Dress Rehearsal
Prepare yourself in advance by practicing your talk. Give your talk to a mirror, your spouse, or a friend. This helps you get out the jitters and the kinks well in advance.
Rehearsing helps you determine how best to structure your remarks. If any issues arise, you’ll discover them now rather than at the final event. You can even record yourself and watch the video to get a better idea of how it went.
Consider Visual Aids
If the medium permits it, consider using a visual aid when you give a presentation. For example, a PowerPoint. This takes eyes off of you–which could make it easier for you to relax onstage.
You can include pictures, videos, and even object lessons. Don’t rely on them too heavily, though. They can bore your audience–making you far more uncomfortable than before.
Prepare for Your Speech Today
Public speaking isn’t fun for most people, introverted or not. Fortunately, there are some ways to make it easier on yourself. Use the above in preparation, and you can give a speech you’ll be proud of.
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