Speaking in front of a few people or mass could be a matter of great fear for many of us. There is even a term called Glossophobia or speech anxiety meaning ´´the fear of public speaking´´. Being an introvert person, I remember the dreadful experiences of standing up to introduce myself in the class on the first day in school and college. Later I was involved in Leo Club, an International youth club, where I served as a volunteer. During that time I frequently came in front of the other members to give a speech during the meeting and participated in Public speaking, be it sometimes in a Toastmaster Club, or hosted some programs in a primary school.
Later, a presentation of the thesis in university was compulsory and the fear was still there to speak in the seminar hall. I thought I was not going to survive that time but I managed it anyhow. And again after University, I realized I wanted to pursue my career in Motivational writing and public speaking. I then started working on my speaking skills sometimes by making videos for myself, speaking in front of the mirror, recording my audio speech. I also then started doing projects on some specific topics and presented it in front of my friends and colleagues. Every time I get to speak in front of the people on some subject, I take this opportunity and go forward.
We might be in any situations like seminar presentations, scientific paper presentation, teaching jobs, sales jobs, a host for a program, or even as a host of a friends and family gatherings/occasions, speaking in front of all is a great way of communication and the way to share our thoughts and opinions.
Considering this as a major topic for a student or anyone in the communication professions, I researched some valuable information we can use to improve these important skills. Following are the steps if you fear public speaking and want to work on being a good public speaker:
- Start speaking in a small group:
If you want to work on your public speaking skills, you should start from a small group. Invite your close friends for a coffee and talk on a topic that you are interested in. This could be a great way to socialize and improve the skill at the same time. When you gain confidence in a small group you can approach the bigger gatherings or occasions.
- Prepare and organize:
You should know well what topic you want to present and do the organizing accordingly. If you are presenting in a hall you might use PowerPoint presentations and use some resources like pictures, audio clips or videos to support your presentations. This shows you are well prepared makes the whole presentation look interesting.
- Please Practice:
We all know that Practice makes perfect. So follow this rule until you are comfortable with your content and the whole message it contains.
- No stress please:
We know it is not an easy task but you have to go through it with confidence. Take a deep breath and visualize finishing the task with positive outcomes and feedback.
- Interact with the audience:
It is a great idea to make your speech interactive with questions and participation of the audience. This will help to make your speech interesting.
- It’s ok to be silent for some time:
In the middle of the speech you might get lost and may have to pause for some time, at this moment don’t freak out. It’s okay to remain silent for some moment. The audience will understand even if the pause is a little bit longer. Don’t be hard on yourself.
- Get support:
Join organizations like Toastmaster or other groups that offer support for people who have difficulty with public speaking.
- You are the master:
Since you have prepared for a certain topic you are the master on it. The audience knows less than you which should make you more confident in it.