While it may be the most common, picturing people naked is not exactly the best public speaking tips out there. It is weird + oddly distracting. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other public speaking tips that might actually help you be more comfortable in front of a crowd.
As a communication major, I was required to take a public speaking class in school – and boy, am I glad I did! Mastering the art of public speaking isn’t just helpful should you ever need to speak in front of a large crowd, it is also helpful when you need to speak up in meetings + job interviews. I may not be speaking in front of big crowds (yet) but, I do – or did pre-COVID – host company-wide meetings once a month where I taught my colleagues more about digital marketing. Below are some of the public speaking tips + takeaways I find helpful when I need to address a crowd or important people.
Public Speaking Tips
- Set yourself up for success. When you’re addressing a crowd or an important group of people, you don’t want to worry about anything except what you’re going to say. Wear clothes + shoes that you are comfortable in + make you feel good about yourself. Now is not the time to step too far outside your comfort zone.
- Increase your confidence. While you shouldn’t go too far outside your comfort zone, you should wear clothes + shoes that make you feel good about yourself. Whether that is a certain color or a lucky necklace, wear things that make you feel fierce.
- Know your message. Whether it is a TED Talk or a job interview, go in knowing what you want to say. You should have talking points memorized so you don’t stumble on the core information you want to share.
- Practice, practice, practice. Say your speech over + over again. Practice it in various scenarios, too. Don’t just sit in front of your mirror, Practice it in front of other people so you can gauge their reaction.
- Try exposure therapy. Like anything you’re afraid of, exposing yourself in small doses can help innoculate yourself. Have a big presentation coming up? Practice in front of your partner. Then practice in front of a group of friends. Even better, throw one of those parties where everyone has to give a 2-minute speech about a chosen topic.
- Give yourself a pep talk. Before you go on stage or into your meeting, give yourself a pep talk. Repeat a mantra about how qualified you are to be there + how you have interesting + unique things to say.
- Focus on a friendly face. If you can have a friend, coworker, or family member in the audience, do so! Focus on them when you feel yourself getting nervous. If not, pick out a few people in the audience who look friendly + focus on them – but not so much you creep them out.
- Keep a lookout for your ticks. When I am nervous, I talk really fast. That can often make it hard for people to understand me. Knowing this, I make notes to myself to slow down when I have a written speech in front of me. Ask a friend what your tick is so you can keep an eye out + quash it when speaking. Common tips are talking too fast, talking too quietly, looking down, getting over-animated with your hands, and using fillers like “um.”
- Keep your diet simple. Before going to speak, don’t eat any new food that could upset your stomach. You should also avoid soda + stick to water as it helps keep your throat clear.
- Keep some semblance of your routine. It can be easy to make the whole day about the scary thing you are about to do. Don’t do that. Our brains crave structure + the familiar.
I hope these public speaking tips help you rock your next conference, presentation, or job interview. Looking for tips to be more confident? Try one of these 12 tips!