Public speaking can be a real nightmare for some people, facing an audience puts some pressure on it and managing expectations is complicated, but not impossible!
That is why in this article we will show you that there are several useful tips that can make all the difference in the art of public speaking.
Nowadays, the vast majority of oral presentations and speeches are made virtually, which does not mean that it is easier, the audience is still there, even if not physically.
Public speaking is a challenge, but it can become something more pleasurable for you, once you get comfortable with the task.
Before making your presentation it is essential to prepare, regardless of whether it is a virtual or physical presentation.
It is essential that you feel comfortable and wise about your speech, so that uncertainty does not take over the scenario.
Study, read and reread your presentation, get 100% at ease with the topic and write down all your notes and doubts, so that until the big day you have everything cleared up.
In your preparation you must also take into account your audience. Who will attend your presentation? What is the profile of your audience? What got them there? All of these questions are valid in your preparation, because once you know your audience well, you will feel more at ease with it.
When you finish these first steps a little more oriented towards analysis, you move to another level: identify your skills, understand where you feel the greatest stress peaks, organize your thinking and execute your public presentation.
Identify your skills when speaking in public
You know yourself better than anyone and you can easily identify your greatest skills in oral expression.
It depends on person to person, but you may find it easier to convey sympathy for example, enthusiasm or humor.
Analyze each of these skills and put a little of each of them in the speech of your presentation, always bearing in mind that you should not put too much, find a balance.
Reduce your stress levels
In this exercise it is also important to identify your fears and failures. What makes you most nervous in your speech? A specific topic? The questions that the audience can ask?
A good tip is to simulate your presentation several times, be comfortable with all the topics, list predictable questions that the audience can ask and train some answers.
On the day of the presentation, choose to start the day with a task that gives you pleasure to clear your head, preferably something light and that does not force you to retain a lot of information.
Take a walk, listen to your favorite playlist or if you are a fan of meditation … that can be an excellent exercise.
When you are done with that task, prepare your workspace and your presentation place.
If you are at home, place your computer in an area where the environment is calm and pay attention to the elements behind you, choose a sober space without many elements so as not to distract your audience. If this is not possible, you can always use a fictitious virtual panel.
Write and decorate buzzwords
In the same way that the presentation tools have a space for the speaker to put hidden notes to help the speech, you can do the same, but not at the time of your presentation because these buzzwords can distract you or make your audience feel that you are diverting your attention.
But why would it be useful to create buzzwords before a presentation and not at the moment as a support cane? Because that way you create a word map in your head that you will somehow remember during your presentation.
Sherlock Holmes used the famous “Mind Palace” technique, a kind of word palace designed inside his head, to help him gather all the relevant details in his investigations.
A great online tool that can help you on this buzzword memorization mission is Anki, an online flashcard generator that helps you to exercise your memory.
This tool is also useful for presentations that have less preparation time.
Physical versus virtual presentation
Public speaking in a room with a virtual audience is not that different from a physical presentation.
The biggest difference is in the way we feel the audience and their reactions, seem more distant, however almost all virtual presentations have video format which facilitates and makes us feel closer, because we see all the participants.
It’s show time
Those seconds before starting your speech are usually the worst as they bring up all the reticence we had in our preparation, but you are prepared, and you know it deep down, you don’t have to worry! Do a brief breathing exercise and relax.
Introduce the theme of your presentation, in a summary tone
A great way to organize your speech right at the beginning of your presentation is to start it right away with a brief summary of the agenda, that is: summarize the points and themes that you will touch on throughout your presentation and which ones you will go into a little more, this way you are already indirectly organizing thought without your audience knowing that one of the purposes is that.
Ask for the collaboration of the virtual audience, to turn off the sound of the microphones during your intervention and to talk only to ask questions at the times indicated by you.
A great technique for organizing speech and improving the pace of presentation while speaking in public, is to create a link between topics in your presentation.
Regardless of speaking on 2 or 10 topics, you are a storyteller, so try to connect all the points in the best way, not only to make your speech flow, but also for your audience to understand the relationship between each topic covered.
Take strategic breaks with rhetorical questions
Taking one or two breaks during your speech is perfectly normal, either to drink water or to question the audience, see if you are following your speech, if you want to ask any questions about the topics you have already addressed.
It is important that the pauses to ask questions are brief and that the questions that require more elaborate answers stay to the end.
Sometimes we get nervous because we feel that the audience’s attention drops at times, a good way to recover and capture the audience’s attention is to ask rhetorical questions.
These questions will attract your audience’s attention and focus and make them feel more loyal to your speech.
In short, public speaking can be a real challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a task combined with pressure, once you manage to follow these tips, flow in your speech and feel secure in your presentation … your mission will be successfully accomplished!
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