12 Sep 2017

Tips for Public Speaking

During your time as a club member, you have an opportunity to speak in front of others. Whether it’s at a club meeting, event or uni open day, public speaking is an important skill.
While the thought may terrify some, we’ve compiled six tips to help you overcome that anxiety.

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Preparation is importantKnowing your key talking points is important, once this is done, you can structure your material around the main messages, this will keep your speech organised.

Slide shows helpIf possible, use a slide show, this will take some of the audience’s focus off you, which helps if you’re a little nervous in front of a crowd. Make sure your slides include images to support your main points and keep the word count to a minimum.

Don’t stressWe know, it’s easier said than done, but stressing about your presentation won’t help anyone. Using cue cards and slides can act as memory triggers, and with practice, the speech and the visual cues should form a whole picture for you and your audience.

Involve the audienceThe best way to deal with nerves is get the audience involved from the beginning. Ask questions or open with a joke, if you get the audience on your side, it may feel like a performance and less of a speech.

Use your bodyInstead of just standing still in front of a crowd, try smiling, using hand gestures and dressing smart, this shows the audience you are interested in what you are talking about.

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Practice, practice, practiceRehearse out loud with all the equipment you intend to use and practice in front of a mirror, family, friends, your cat, anyone. Make sure your timing is correct and allow time for questions.

Just remember, no speech or presentation will ever be perfect, and no one will expect it to be. But, being prepared and having a little practice will help you to deliver a better presentation. While you may not be able to shake the nerves entirely, you can learn to minimise them. Good luck!