Submitted Date 05/23/2019


Public speaking may be daunting for some, yet comfortable for others. No matter how being the center of attention makes you feel, we could all use some tips when it comes to public speaking. It is not all about confidence, but here are some tips to help you not only exude confidence while public speaking, but also gives a memorable performance!

1. Practice Gesturing

Most public speakers may feel comfortable standing in one position, despite the space they are speaking in. If you want to make your audience feel comfortable and involved, making good use of your space and involving gestures can be very helpful. To improve your gestures, practice speaking with your elbows away from your torso. Consider the habits in your posture when public speaking, like holding onto a podium, or holding your hands together. Once you recognize these habits coming out while public speaking, your brain will alert you to step out of your habitual comfort zone.

2. Practice in Front of an Audience

The worst part of public speaking is that many eyes are looking at you. Most speakers tend to feel most comfortable keeping their eyes on the areas in their surroundings that are not be looking back at them. However, if you want your audience to feel engaged with you as a speaker, eye contact is critical. Practicing in front of a group of friends or people you know can often feel more awkward than speaking in front of strangers. By using people you know as an audience, even if you have to try multiple times to get through it, will make speaking in front of others feel less challenging.

3. Record Your Practice

We are always our own worst critic. However, this can come in handy when it comes to public speaking. Practice your speech or presentation in front of a camera and although it may be cringy and painful, watch it back and critique yourself. By watching yourself present, you can catch all the little things you need to change… and improve on them before it beats you to the punch!

4. Know Your Audience

Public speaking can cover a wide range of situations. The common denominator of all public speaking is the audience. Big or small, your audience is who you want your message to influence. Begin by considering the subject of your message and setting of your presentation. If you are giving a speech about student loans at a college or university, understand that you are trying to get a message across to college students. Therefore, think deeply about the concerns and experiences that college students face and tailor your presentation to appeal to those aspects. This practice will increase your audience engagement and help you speak with more significant influence.

5. Relax

Whether or not you hate or love public speaking, you should work to maintain composure before addressing your audience. If you feel relaxed while public speaking, it will translate to your audience. Instead of focusing on your tense presence, being composed will allow the audience to focus on the topic of your speech. Simple tips to relax before public speaking can be skipping caffeine for a calming tea beforehand. Although, the best way to feel relaxed in these situations is to practice beforehand until you feel prepared.

Public speaking may seem daunting for some and fun for others. It doesn't matter who you are on this spectrum. Nobody has public speaking perfected. Luckily, everyone can work to improve their approach. If your message is worth spreading, the practice and enhancement will be worth it in the end!

If you would like to see more stories like this, check out my WriteSpike profile and be sure to comment your thoughts below. Also, follow me on Twitter (@emilyokonsky) for updates on new articles and writing projects. Thanks for reading!

Replace intimidation with curiosity. Be your authentic self with everyone you meet, so you make authentic connections.

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