By Ruoro Kairu
Fear is one of the most primal human emotions. Fear governs pretty much all of our activities in life. Some fears, such as that of snakes, can keep you safe and more alert when in an area prone to snakes.
Some fears, however, can keep you from progressing.
Take glossophobia, for instance, it can keep you from advancing in your career.
Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. If every time you think of addressing more than two people you immediately want to curl up in a dark corner, you most likely have a fear for public speaking.
The fear of public speaking is real and should not be taken in a light manner.
Improving your public speaking skills will help you in communicating with colleagues, supervisors, and even clients.
Here are five tips you can use to improve your public speaking skills.
1. Remember that being anxious is normal
If you have a phobia for public speaking, you probably admire people who seamlessly take the mic and command the audience. While they may look like they have it figured out. Being anxious is common among experienced speakers. One of the ways you can beat anxiety is to adequately prepare.
If you have notes or a presentation to make, take time to familiarize yourself with the key contents. When you have a clear understanding of what you’ll talk about, you’ll be more confident while addressing the audience.
2. Understand your audience
Before you can prepare a message for your audience, it is imperative you have an understanding of who the message is for, and how they will receive it.
Look at it this way, young people will receive a message differently from how older people would. The same goes for professional; the way your colleagues would perceive a message is different from how your bosses would.
When you have the audience in mind, you should then customize your message to suit them. If the audience can relate with the message you’re delivering, they’ll be more attentive and at ease, thus making you more relaxed.
3. Ask for feedback
Whenever you address a group of people, it is your hope to deliver the message in a friendly and effectual manner.
Once you complete an address, it is always advisable to get feedback from a few people. The feedback will give you a different vantage point. Use the feedback gathered from your audience to improve on your subsequent addresses.
4. Only read what you have to
When addressing people, they are looking to connect with you and the message you’re delivering. If you spend the whole time staring down at what you’re reading, you’ll lose the human connection that is key in any address.
You can have a few notes to use as pointers. This, coupled with preparation, will give you a great speech where you’re not looking down all the time.
You are allowed to read if you’re delivering significant figures or the information is reported.
5. Reiterate your points at the beginning and end
People have a heightened attention span at the beginning and end of an address. It is advised to begin with the important points of your speech the dive into the details. As you’re concluding, briefly recap the most important points. This way, you’ll get to capture the audience and successfully deliver your address.
Hopefully, these few pointers will help you in enhancing your public speaking skills. To get more practical lessons on how to improve your personal skills, you can enroll in our seven-week public speaking course. To learn more about the class, you can email us or call us on 0722 735 216.