There are many times in life when people turn to you in the group to say something. Everything goes quiet, and all eyes are on you. If that doesn’t fill you with horror and get the adrenaline pumping, then you are not one of the millions of people who dislike public speaking. Being the center of attention is not fun for most of us. Even celebrities get nervous when they are about to face the crowd to do something they have rehearsed for months. To suddenly speak unprepared in front of a group of people can be terrifying.
For some, that terror comes with the added worry that any words that do come out could be a frantic jumbled mess filled with rambling, wrong words and stuttering. See stutteringdoctor.com or other websites for ideas on how to deal with stuttering. It has happened to all of us at one point, or another, but some people suffer from speech impediments that make verbal communication very challenging. You may have speech difficulties, anxieties or you are just worried about public address. Read our top tips for getting through it relatively unscathed:
- Prepare – Even if you are put on the spot, you can prepare yourself for these kinds of occasion. Firstly you need to listen to what has been said. In your mind, you probably have some idea of relevant information you can add. One sentence should be all you need or just agree with what has been said before.
- Breathe – Breathing deeply will calm you and oxygenate your brain to help you focus on your words.
- Think – There is no rush for an answer. Your adrenaline is giving you the impression time is passing quicker than it is when everyone is looking to you to answer. Think about what you want to say, and then how to say it.
- Script – If you can prepare a speech for a public address, try to write a full script. Change difficult-to-say words.
- Inclusion – Include others in the conversation. If you are making the audience participate or laugh, they are not concentrating on your speech nearly as much.
- Meditation or Yoga – These techniques help you feel more focussed in the mind and calmer in the body. You will feel better able to cope with high-pressure situations like public speaking.
- Sleep and eat – If you know you have to speak in public, ensure you are getting good quality sleep and have eaten well.
- Rehearse – Record yourself so you can hear where you have troubles. Never expect it to be perfect because it doesn’t need to be. You just need to get your point across.
- Smile – This will put everyone at ease, including you. Relaxing the muscles in your face and mouth will help you speak.
- Stand up tall – Command the respect of your listeners by correcting your posture. Shoulders should be down and back to relax you.
- Speak up – Make sure your voice is heard. Speaking loudly enough will help you form the words more clearly too.
- Use props – Presentations should deliver your ideas visually as well as aurally.