10 Tips to Control Nerves When Speaking in Public

Are you nervous about giving a speech or presentation? Nothing wrong with that! Nerves can even have a positive effect. It does get annoying when your nerves get the upper hand. The 10 tips below will help you keep your nerves under control.

Know your material well.

Always work with a topic that you are really interested in. Make sure you know a lot more about the topic than you actually use in your speech or presentation. If not, your speech could be fantastic, but all efforts will be in vain if you can’t answer the questions after the speech. So if you know the material by heart, then you don’t have to be nervous about it. You are the expert, show them who’s boss!

Practice, practice, practice.

“If you know your material well, you don’t have to practice, do you?” That is not reserved for many people. Avoid surprises by rehearsing out loud. Until you are sure. While rehearsing, use all the attributes you expect to use, including your PowerPoint and your laser pointer. Make adjustments as needed and try to get your stop words under control. It is also useful to practice with a timer, so that you know approximately how long your speech will take. No idea what your stop words are? Record your speech and you’ll find out in no time. 

Know the audience.

Have a chat with some audience beforehand. It is much easier to speak to people you know a little than to strangers. This will work wonders for your nerves.

Know the area where you will be speaking.

Make sure you are at the location on time. Before you start, test the microphone and any visual aids. There is nothing more conducive to your nerves than a non-working beamer when you are about to start …

Begin your speech by addressing your audience.

This will give you some extra time and help keep your nerves down. Pause, smile, and count to three before speaking. In addition, try to convert the energy of your nerves into enthusiasm.

Visualize yourself speeching.

Visualize yourself speaking in a loud, clear, and confident voice. Visualize the clapping audience in front of you. This may sound ‘over the top’, but you will be amazed at how much you will benefit from this.

Don’t apologize for any nervousness.

The audience probably doesn’t even realize you’re nervous. As long as you don’t say anything, nobody will notice.

Concentrate on the message, not the medium.

Focus on your message and your audience, not your nerves or your PowerPoint presentation.

Gain experience.

As with everything, practice makes perfect. Experience creates confidence: the key to effective speaking. Our training courses can help you to gather experience and acquire deeper theoretical knowledge. ‘ Practice, practice, practice’ is the guiding principle for our training. By gaining experience in public speaking, you will eventually start paying attention to the details and dramatically improve your presentation skills.

The audience is your friend.

The audience is eager to listen to you. They expect an interesting speaker with a good story and have turned up for your story. Remember that the public is your friend, not your enemy. They’re thumbing for you

Felix Tammi

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