By Mark Tyrrell
1) Use eye contact with each member of the audience in turn.
2) Remember that some people get nervous in audiences too. Put them at their ease.
3) Use visual aids where useful. People like to look at things. Flip charts, overhead projectors and video can all be used to make the presentation more memorable. Too much detail or overly technical information might not be best presented in a visual way however. Keep visuals simple. If you don’t have the use of visuals remember that ‘words paint pictures in the mind.’
4) Consider giving handouts to your audience members. It gives them something to take away and it might be a memory prompt for them when recalling your speech. They can also feel as if you have given them something ‘for free’. Too much written material may be off-putting however and you don’t want everyone reading during your presentation, so choose carefully when you give them out.
5) Again, remember that the audience has a responsibility too!
6) Don’t think How can I survive this?, think How can I do this brilliantly?
7) Remember that, as with all things, you need to know where you’re going if you’re going to get there. Rather than I hope I don’t panic, work out how you would like things to be.
8) Vary your voice tonality and speed during your presentation. Convey energy when you need to, and slow down to ‘draw them in close’ when it’s appropriate.
9) Repeat the exercise earlier in this section until the thought of public speaking starts to actually let you relax. If you need more help with this see our Self Confidence Trainer. Remember the World needs good communication and if a natural born coward like me can do it you certainly can! :-)
10) Read a good book on excellent presenting. One I use personally is ‘Inspire any Audience’ by Tony Jeary. As I mentioned above, it makes for fun and compelling reading, is really well laid out and it motivates you to present excellently.
Final Tip: Public Speaking CAN be Fun!
It’s possible for public speaking to be fun and hugely satisfying. Once you’ve enjoyed a presentation, or even part of it, your self confidence will get a huge boost and you'll be off and running! Give yourself the best chance by using the exercises and tips on this page. Good luck!
The Self Confidence Trainer by Mark Tyrrell (the author of this article) and Roger Elliott Public Speaking Fear Hypnosis Download