August 2013

Public speaking fear is one of the most commonly reported concerns across all  ages. Listed below are some public speaking tips and hints which will help  youngsters and adults conquer their anxieties and strengthen their public  speaking capabilities.

Practice Speaking First Related to Something You Know

For starters, presenting casual practice session opportunities referring to  something the speakers already know can help quite a lot. In a school, every  assignment for public speaking would profit by starting with a day or two when  each kid picks a topic on a every day activity and presents it before their  peers. It could be a story about a sport they play or an explanation of a daily  routine. The familiarity makes the speaking experience exciting and easy.

Thoroughly Know Your Subject Matter

This advice applies both to adults and to kids. Even before you begin writing  your speech, take all the time and effort required to understand everything  possible regarding the topics of your public speaking activities. The more you  learn and know about a topic, the more comfortable you can be when you finally  stand in front of others to explain and expand upon the subject.

Keep the Subject and Length Appropriate to the Age Group

Although adults may be required to talk about a range of sub-topics and will  sometimes be speaking for many minutes or even hours, public speaking for kids  need to be tailor-made for their age and ability. If a broad public speaking  topic has to be addressed by students or young people, consider breaking up the  speaking assignment into smaller sub-topics so that it is not overwhelming.

Practice like You Play, Rehearse like You Will Speak

It is an old sport adage that an athlete needs to practice the same way that  he or she will play. The same thing is true when preparing for a speech or other  public speaking activities. Take the time to create an environment similar to  that of your presenting venue when you are rehearsing. Try to find a mirror or  think about taping yourself so you can see how you present yourself. By far the  most important piece of advice is to speak using a relaxed, slow and smooth  delivery, even when rehearsing.

Know Your Speaking Space

Nothing minimizes nervousness more quickly than familiarity. This applies not  only to your public speaking topic, but also to the place you will present. If  at all possible, visit the place where you will be speaking. Check for possible  issues and concerns like stairway and tricky microphones. Arrange for  adaptations if you are a very tall or very short speaker. Take a look at the  technology if a computer or projector is a part of the plan. Figure out where  you must stand and what to do while awaiting your turn.

Relax Just Prior to the Speech

Maybe the worst thing you can do immediately before speaking is to keep  running your speech over and over in your head or even continuing to rehearse in  your room or office. A better approach is to read, watch some television, play a  game, or anything that relaxes you. Take a walk, or take a nap. You know  yourself best - work off nerves, or take deep breaths to find your center. Walk  up to the podium with something fresh and new to share, and you may have the  viewers in the palm of your hand.

Click here for more information on how to improve public speaking skills.


Here are 10 public speaking tips that will help you if you have to deliver a  speech and aren't used to getting up and speaking in front of an audience.

The ten tips below will help you conquer your fear

1) Preparation

Preparation is vital when you have to speak in public or  make a presentation, especially if you suffer from the fear of public speaking.  To overcome your anxiety you do need to give yourself the best opportunity to  perform well by preparing well.

This will involve practicing your speaking into a microphone at home on your  pc or some sort of recording device like a mobile phone and becoming comfortable  with the sound of your own voice. Familiarizing yourself with the material you  intend delivering is also important and will give you reassurance about your  speech or presentation.

2) Work on your posture

Stand tall when practicing your speech and stand  tall when you are delivering your speech. The sound of your voice and delivery  will be so much better when you stand tall and you can test this yourself at  home-record yourself sitting in front of your pc and make a similar recording  immediately afterwards from a standing position.

You will see a qualitative difference as your posture is vitally important in  your delivery and in your confidence in the sound of your own voice. The best  way to stand tall is to imagine that there is a thread coming out of the top of  your head pulling you upwards.

3) Breathing

Your breathing is a huge factor in how you sound and the  feedback from the sound of your voice will instill you with confidence if you  sound cool and confident.

You can only do this by ensuring that your breathing is deep and relaxed, not  shallow and fast. I would say from my experience that working on my breathing  was the single biggest factor in my overcoming my public speaking anxiety.

Really work on sucking air into your diaphragm and remember to do this prior  to your delivery.

4) Speak slowly

The vast majority of people, especially those who suffer  from public speaking anxiety, speak far too quickly. I am guilty of this myself  and the only way to counter it is to practice. If you are a fast talking, fast  thinking person like me then you will have to really work to slow it down.

Even though it may sound alien to you to other people it will sound perfectly  normal if you have always been prone to speaking too fast.

5) Pauses and voice inflection change

When you are preparing your speech  or presentation make sure that you inject plenty of pauses into your speech and  color your speech with changing the inflection of your voice. There is nothing  worse than a flat, monotone delivery which will ultimately sap your  confidence.

Your pauses should tie in with your breathing to ensure that you are speaking  on the out breath, not on the intake of breath.

6) Speaking on the out breath

This tip is crucial-you do really have to  work on speaking as you breathe out. The expulsion of breath (see tip on  breathing at 3 above) as you speak will give your voice a lovely strong  projection.

7) Pitch

A low pitched voice is much more pleasant to listen to than a  high pitched one and emits a signal of confidence to your audience. Your pitch  will again be tied in to that most important tip above about your breathing.  Remember-deep, shallow breathing is the order of the day.

8) Stay focused on the topic at hand

Be very clear about the topic you  are going to address; and then make an outline that has the topic, the  supporting points and the conclusion. This is especially important if you have a  limited time to get your point across.

9) Use a sense of humor

As long as it appropriate, everyone likes a  little bit of a laugh when they are listening to a lecture or a presentation.  Humor helps to lighten the mood and also helps the speaker connect with the  audience. Humor can be a joke to open your speech, a light-hearted story, or a  funny prop.

10) Tell a story to illustrate a point

It is not always effective  communication when a speaker merely states a fact or relays some information. It  is much easier to make a point if you have a story that illustrates the  information and then show how it applies to a real situation. For example, if  you are talking about new safety rules in the workplace, tell a story about what  happened to an employee who saved a life by following them.

Public speaking secrets Nerves and public speaking are perfectly natural  and understandable-controlling those nerves and ensuring a confident appearance  and presentation is perfectly achievable with a little training and not allowing  your problem to defeat you.

You will eventually discover that there are no hidden public speaking secrets  but sound, rational principles such as those outlined above. Effective public  speaking and overcoming anxiety in public speaking are eminently achievable goals when you  take the right steps to tackle your problem.

Click here for more information on how to overcome public speaking anxiety.


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