Public speaking is not only a skill that takes practice and time to hone, but it also is one of the most undesirable tasks that all professionals must master to build the business. From the shyest, unassuming techie to the tongue-tied office assistant, speaking with confidence guarantees access to some of the most desired offices in business, political or commercial. In a society where most communicate through the virtual landscape, public speaking is becoming less and less of a requirement in developing your business.
Improve Speaking Confidence
However, the opposite is true, and quite frankly, most of becoming a better public speaker is getting over the nervousness of facing crowds. There is nothing like facing your co-workers in some of the most premium meeting rooms and boardrooms and coming up blank. In addition to practicing, though, professionals can improve their public speaking skills by simply doing a few things.
Let’s take a look at how you can learn to speak with confidence to your Australian audiences.
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Most of going into a speaking at meetings is going in well-prepared, which means knowing your subject matter and anticipating questions. If you are not an expert in the subject, spend time researching in preparation of your meeting. When your colleagues ask you questions, you can answer them effortlessly, and more importantly, confidently.
Research the organization you are presenting to and even the demographic that makes up the group. Most Australians have similar beliefs and attitudes, but the country is made up of a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic population. You get a better feel for the crowd if you know more about them.
Make An Agenda
While an agenda only lists the topics to be covered, it gives you an idea of where the discussion is headed. This is important because part of not being able to effectively and articulately ideas comes from not having any direction. Your meeting is a conversation regarding one larger topic. Within this topic, you have subtopics you must address. Your agenda will help you stay on track and moving your meeting in the right direction.
Before heading off to your meeting, rehearse your presentation. This technique is great because it not only is a pneumonic device but when standing before your attendees, the words will flow from your lips so smoothly and effortlessly that you will find speaking before your peers to no longer be anxiety-inducing. For more practice, consider asking others to listen to you present for objective feedback.
Use Ice Breakers
To loosen up the audience, spend a few minutes getting to know your participants by doing a quick icebreaker. An activity as simple as one that asks participants to introduce themselves and talk a little bit about the work they do can do wonders to relax presenters. Also, icebreakers also give latecomers the chance to get to the meeting without interrupting the discussion.
When speaking, enunciate every word by controlling the tempo of your speech. No, it does not mean you have to speak in a monotone, but it does prevent you from speaking too fast, stuttering over words, and more importantly, not clearly conveying important ideas. Moreover, it can give you a few moments to think before you speak.
One of the best ways to get comfortable with a crowd is to get to your location early. A million and one snafus can get in the way of a perfectly organized meeting, namely a locked room, or worse yet, missing materials. Use this time to get comfortable with the room’s equipment while getting help if needed as well.
Other Considerations For A Perfect Presentation
Reduce the number of distractions, which can equally disrupt any eloquent speech, by asking your attendees to turn off cell phones and hold questions until the end. These and other common interruptions can make it difficult to concentrate and thus communicate effectively. By keeping this and other factors in mind, your most valid concerns about public speaking are alleviated.