10 tips of how to overcome the fear of a public speech; Get presentation success!

The fear of conducting a public speech is larger than the fear of death. How do you execute a success speech?

Conducting a success speech is crucial when seeking to win new customers, or, when seeking to get a critical decision by higher authorities. Below blog sheds some light into what needs to be done to make this happen!

This is my own experience; I was very nervous and not confident at all when speaking in public after my first university graduation in 2004 . I did not know how to conduct a professional public speech, and, what to do, to overcome my former fear. But by doing research, and by teaching public speaking, and by conducting dozens of public speeches, I got used with being on stage and I learned the perks of making a professional public speech / presentation.

Why are people nervous while being on stage?

Common thoughts going around in our heads before having a public speech:

  • You think people are going to laugh at you, or turn their attention to something else
  • The feeling of getting embarrassed is just terrible. Who wants to stand out as a clown?
  • Am I going to lose track and say the wrong things?
  • Will my audience be patient and listen to what I have to say?
  • What if I get questions I can’t answer? I will look like a fool

The list can be done much longer. But these thoughts make us nervous. We start to doubt ourselves and in that moment of lowered self-confidence, our voice and body language change for the worse. It becomes more difficult to remember what to say, and we may head for a disaster. Do you recognize this situation?

10 tips of how to create a convincing and confident public speech

There are thousands of books, pages and blogs talking about how to deliver a success speech. I decided to focus on 10 key areas I found crucial when delivering a convincing and confident presentation / public speech.

Dress for success

If you are going to speak in-front of lawyers; mirror your dress to make them feel confident in your presence. Think about your dress and the audience you are going to engage.

Your voice

Practice your voice beforehand by using certain lip techniques, and avoid drinking cold water on the day of having your speech. Your voice and dress are much more important than what you are saying.

Boost your psychology

Meditation is an effective way to calm your nerves; do it 2 times per day, 1 week before your speech is going to be delivered. Create a mental picture of when the audience is applauding your delivery, and see yourself getting flowers after your presentation. There are many more techniques online of how to create confidence through meditation. Talk with people who know how to make a good speech. What advice are they giving you?

Practice

Practice beforehand by using a timer, or record your speech with a camera. You may also want to make a presentation in front of friends, or why not in the context of a volunteer project? Practice by using PowerPoint slides, bullet points, and a short script with main points.

Plan your speech

What is the reason for your speech? To inform? To persuade? Depending on topic, and the audience, decide on a strategy such as: Monroes’ motivated sequence , problem- cause-solution order, or problem-solution order. Your introduction should tell the audience why this topic is of an importance, how you are going to deliver the speech, and what you are going to say. The main body contains headings, sub-headings and sometimes, sub-sub headings that support the sub-heading. Make it clear when you are moving to next main point in your speech by concluding a main point within a paragraph and by highlighting next main point. Your conclusion shall only cover what was said in the main body and focus on main findings ( the key message).

Understand your audience

Understanding your audience can be done through online surveys or by asking the event manager to conduct a survey to understand the audience’s expectations, background, age and education. The language of a doctor, accountant, engineer and lawyer differ and their expectations and needs may also be very different.

Avoid fallacies

Fallacies include elements such as: hasty generalizations, invalid analogy, bandwagon or either-or. A fallacy is a situation when a speaker jumps to a general conclusion on the basis of insufficient evidence. Example of an invalid analogy: In the UK, the general election campaign for the Prime Minister lasts less than three weeks. Surely we can do the same with the US presidential election. This is a wrong statement because the British and American political systems are not enough alike; the USA is much larger than the UK and its party system operates differently.

Create credibility

If you are not a recognized expert in your field, there are various tactics to create credibility in your speech. You may cite famous researchers, or talk about your own experience. You may use statistics and secondary data from reliable sources to support your statements.

Handle objections

Handling objections is possible by anticipating questions from the audience. This goes back to how well you know your audience and their education, profession, and expectations. If you can’t answer a question; politely mention you will look it up and get back, and be specific with a time and day. And keep your promises at all times!

Ensure quality facilities

Test the facilities one day ahead of your speech. Get on stage, talk in the micro phone, check the light, air condition, heaters (if needed), and IT equipment. Make sure to have additional batteries and at least 2 microphones available. One for the audience and one for the speaker. If things goes wrong, provide handouts or a printed version of your presentation and use a whiteboard for numbers and important events.

Learn more about public speaking by joining my course as outlined here -> LINK.

By Anthony Eric

About
Anthony Eric brings a wealth of knowledge in international business and he has gained 14 years experiences of how to communicate effectively, how to plan and evaluate operations for low risk and faster decision making. Anthony has been trained by international institutes in the USA, the UK, Ireland and Sweden and he provides business training and communication training for clients in business, and for clients who aim at succeeding in business. His expertise covers leadership, management communication, business planning and sales management. He currently holds an MBA (England) and BSc Engineering (Sweden) and he has gained 21st century skills and knowledge at global leading institutions such as: The British government, Deloitte, IBM, TietoEnator, Ericsson, Consulting firm Semcon, The Open University, King’s College London, Manchester Business School, The University of Birmingham, Royal Institute of Technology KTH and Harvard University in alliance with IBM Leadership Academy. Anthony is the author of the e-book project management success, available on amazon.com.

Copyright (C) 2018. Anthony Eric by Antonios Papadimitriou. All Rights Reserved.

 

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