Glossophobia, more commonly known as a fear of public speaking, is believed to affect 75% of people and is the number one phobia in the United States.
However, the value of public speaking should not be underestimated. Whether you are in a managerial position and regularly need to communicate your ideas to your organisation and influence your coworkers or are asked to assert your authority on a topic during a presentation, the ability to communicate to large groups of people in a confident and engaging way can yield tremendous results for your sense of personal satisfaction as well as your career.
If the thought of public speaking engenders fear in you, this article can help you polish your communication style and prepare you to become a better business speaker.
Have a Clear Message
Outline the main points you want to get across to your audience to give your speech structure. This will help you to stay focused and avoid the chances of any awkward pauses or unnecessary ramblings. By understanding your audience, your message and the information you wish to convey you can build a framework that allows you to communicate in a clear and effective manner.
Make sure you are delivering value to your audience by crafting a speech that is built around a key message that offers some useful takeaways for the listener. To offer the most value, identify your audience’s pain points beforehand. Online forums and social media channels can give great insights into where they most need help.
To retain interest and engagement, your message should focus on what your audience needs rather than what you want to say. A message that resonates with the listener will have the most impact.
Much of the anxiety around public speaking comes from the belief that you need to deliver your message perfectly. There is no need to memorise every word or mannerism beforehand as this can put unnecessary pressure on you and stifle your performance.
Instead, it helps to take a more natural approach where you are focusing on serving your audience in a genuine and authentic way, thereby, allowing you to relax and be yourself. Some helpful things to remember are to speak clearly, at a conversational pace and to make eye contact with your audience.
Watching similar talks given by other confident orators such as these female business speakers can help you to perfect your presentation style and glean insights into mannerisms, length of pauses, use of eye contact and other useful tips that you can apply to your own speech.
Rehearse your speech a few times before you deliver it. This is especially beneficial if you are new to public speaking or feel nervous at the prospect.
It is useful to record your speech as you can gauge your delivery style by rewatching it and seeing areas where you need to improve. Asking your friends and family to give you feedback on your speech can also help you to hone your skills. Is your delivery too fast or too loud? Do you overuse filler words or gesticulate wildly? Take the time to review your performance at leisure so you can perfect it.
By following the suggestions in this article you can become a more comfortable and skilled business speaker.