Today I received an email from my mom informing me that she was giving a speech today in Princeton, New Jersey. Her email got me thinking about public speaking, something I enjoy doing, and what I try to focus on when speaking in front of an audience. Here are three:
1. Speak slowly – Your nerves may drive you to speak fast but try to keep them in check. Normally if you speak fast people will tune you out and by speaking slowly you will calm yourself down.
2. You are the expert – no matter how nervous you are the people in the audience respect you for actually getting up there and doing what you’re doing. Public speaking ranks second as everybody’s worst fear; deat is first. Trust yourself that what you say matters and that your knowledge and experience is relevant.
3. Engage the audience – chances are if you are up there then you are a people person. Don’t put that talent on the shelf. Engage your audience.