Chandler F.

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Tips on public speaking?

I’ve always hated public speaking.... I was wondering what some tips are for staying calm while giving presentations

#public-speaking #public-relations #public-sector #motivational-speaking #speaking #presentations #presentation

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Hi Chandler, I wish I could give you a magic formula for public speaking but there really isn't one. For example, if you asked me some tips on how to remain calm when snowboarding at high speeds I could tell you things like: "look up to where you want to go and not the ground", "bend your knees and relax your lower body" etc. But nothing beats strapping on your board and practicing over and over again! Public speaking was not easy for me and I had to really try to practice. And it was embarrassing sometimes and I felt horrible but after many times I eventually got used to the feeling. I would thus recommend finding opportunities to practice public speaking. What I used to do is go to a busy street corner, print out a famous speech by a founding father and read it out loud. It sounds weird and embarrassing but it really helped me. What you could do is join a drama class or even try a videogame such as "Comedy Night"; anything that will help you practice public speaking in front of strangers. I know you were just asking for tips for staying calm but what you're really trying to do is step out of your comfort zone; the more you do that the more calm you will be. And I believe in you to do that!
Last updated Dec 02 '17 at 17:49

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Chandler, However cliche it might sound, the more you know the subject matter you're talking about, the more confident you'll be speaking aloud about it. Here are a few public speaking tips about how to do that: 1. Practice. It's already been said, but I thought I'd share how I practice. When I'm alone, be it in the car commuting or in front of the mirror getting ready in the morning, I pretend like I'm in front of a bunch of people and I just talk out loud! It's SOOO helpful, not just to gain more confidence, but to fine tune what it is I want to say. Once you hear something out loud it either makes total sense and sounds great, or you'll think "oh wow I need to change that and say something different". Do this a few times, and take notes on your computer or phone while you're doing it. Once you have an outline on paper it becomes SUPER easy to memorize your talking points, and BOOM- you're ready. 2. Translate your outline into notecards if you can't memorize the content 3. Imagine the audience as the people who you feel MOST comfortable around (friends, family, whoever!). If there is someone in the audience who you know really well, focus your attention on them when you're speaking. Pretend you're the only two people in the room, and like you're just having a casual conversation with that person. 4. Take the pressure off. Remember to BREATHE!! What's the worst that can happen?!
Last updated Feb 08 at 10:20

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I have been a Toastmaster for 20 years. Before I left New York in 2003 I had the opportunity to mentor Hofstra University Graduate School of Business Toastmasters. The Dean was thinking of requiring Toastmasters as a prerequisite to obtaining an MBA because he believed that it's that important if you want to be a leader to be able to communicate effectively and confidently. I really suggest you check out a t Toastmasters club www.toastmasters.org
Last updated Nov 28 '17 at 22:30

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Hi Chandler! I was totally mortified when I found out that my current job would require me to teach classes. Thankfully (or not?) it was always the same presentation, so I got to play around with it, and figure out what worked and what did not. I had no control over what was on the slides, but I was free to say what I wanted, within reason. Because this is a class about how to search for jobs, that people were required to attend, even though they did not want to be there, I sensed a degree of hostility. Over time, I learned the importance of speaking with, and not AT, my audience. I'd give very short quizzes at the beginning of class, to give them a tiny glimpse of what we would cover - asking questions I knew would get them interested. And, I am a very down-to-earth person. I point out the flaws in our job-search website, and then teach them how to get around them. Each time I spoke, I challenged myself to do one or two things differently. Start by relaxing the death grip on the podium (joke!), and work up to walking up and down the aisles. Buy your own remote if you need one. Don't read off the power point slides. But above all, find your unique style, and engage the audience. Some people start with a joke. Mine usually fall flat, because my delivery is never right. That's why I went to the quiz. Or, you can tell one of those "a funny thing happened on the way here tonight" stories. . . Remember, all those people in the audience, they are all human, just like you, and at least two of them are thinking, " gosh, I wish I had the guts to do that!" I still don't have enough experience with it to say I'd be comfortable in other situations (although I did a press conference once - that was scary!), but I can say that I know I'd be able to do it if I had to! I would definitely consider toastmasters. I've heard a lot of great things about it. Generally speaking, the best way to get better at something you are weak at is to meet it head on! Keep at it! Kim
Last updated Dec 03 '17 at 23:37

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