Tips for Public Speaking

I have done a fair amount of public speaking. I still get nervous every time in the moments before I go on stage. This article has some helpful hints for people who are afraid of public speaking.

Here's a few quick thoughts....

- I usually have a manuscript written out that I have practiced several times before I speak live. I've found practicing in the car is a great way to get more comfortable speaking without spending too much time looking at your notes.

- Memorize key phrases, stories, and main points so that you can speak them fully engaged with the audience. In a blog post titled Eliminating Stage Fright the author advises,
Memorize the first minute: For a lot of people, the five minutes leading up to a public speaking situation and the first minute of that speaking are the worst part. Get in there and memorize that first section as best as you can. Calming yourself down isn't about memorizing the whole speech it's just about laying that foundation so you can get through the most uncomfortable part.
- Have an outline. This can be fully written out, on a note card, or simply in your head. No matter how you do it is important to know exactly where you are going as you make your way through the talk.

- Check your zipper. Now do it again. Now stop worrying about it. Don't let little things weigh your mind down. Be confident. They wouldn't have asked you to be up there speaking if they didn't think what you had to say was important.

- Find a comfortable way to stand, that eliminates the horrible tendency some people have to prowl back and forth across the stage like a caged tiger at the zoo. Find your center and be content there, moving for dramatic effect, not because you slammed a Monster Energy Drink before taking the stage.