Kids from a young age should always be encouraged to express themselves, talk in public groups and basically gain some confidence whilst speaking in public places, setting them up nicely for the future. But there is that factor that comes with being a teenager, and that is that you might feel shy and embarrassed in front of certain people (for example parents and other adults). To get around this it would be best to try practicing with someone you feel confident enough around to try your public speaking talk, like your siblings or friends. And to really excel your skills as a public speaker, you can go one step further and video yourself. This way you can review it back to learn from any mistakes, and better still, fix them. The more that you practice with at least one person your confidence levels will significantly rise for your future presentations.
8 Key Public Speaking Tips to Keep in Mind
Public speaking isn’t only just about presentations, as there are so many other opportunities to use your skills elsewhere, such as bringing out the best in you and just being more confident as a person.
1. Getting Your Head in the Right Place
First of all, you need to have the right mindset, you need to know that anyone can become a natural public speaker, so don’t put yourself down, it won’t happen right away, but it will take some time which leads to the next tip.
2. Get Your Message Right
Write down the key message you want to deliver. What it is you want to leave with your audience? Refine it until it sounds right to you. If you have more than one message, repeat the same preparation.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Like everything in life, to become comfortable and good at something it will take practice; the more times you do something, the better you will get. The key is repetition, practice your lines and the message you want to deliver in every way possible, presenting to a friend, talking in front of the mirror, and also writing it down.
4. Good Body Posture
These things might seem like very minor details, but they show a lot about your confidence levels whilst you are presenting. First of all, it is important to stand up straight with a firm posture that you can keep a good balance. Placing your arms in a neutral position rather than behind your back helps here. This shows you are more confident to speak, and with your legs, stand shoulder-width apart without swaying side to side, as this shows a lack of confidence.
5. Think About Your Audience
One major thing that you need whilst you are presenting is the ability to grasp the attention of your audience. You can easily do this by interacting with them, by either asking straightforward, interactive-type questions. You can also make some jokes throughout the presentation, as long as they are not inappropriate. Bets if they are self-deprecating, which means they are about you. If you have a large podium to present on you may want to slowly walk around every so often whilst you do these things. Dressing for the occasion can also form a good opinion of yourself before you even start presenting. If you are presenting to other kids, dress how they might dress; if you’re presenting to adults, you might want to dress more formally.
6. Facial Expressions & Eye Contact
Whether or not you know your audience it is key to make eye contact with a few faces during your speech. Also, depending on what you are talking about, smiling can leave off a warm atmosphere to the people around you and can help you have a positive start to your presentation. Some people smile naturally, others have to force themselves to do it. When making eye contact with someone this is a great indicator of how your presentation is going based on the level of his or her interests. Doing these things will not only show your confidence, but it will also show how little fear you have.
7. Project Your Voice
Some people may not have such a loud and significant voice as others do, so try your best to bring out the best in your voice to the best of your ability, without shouting or sounding too abrupt to the audience. It is also great to have a nice steady pace that you use throughout the speech, which can sound pleasant and calming for the audience to listen to.
8. Everybody Gets Nervous
It is good to note that even the best public presenters and well-established talkers still get nervous before presentations, so it is normal for you to get nervous as well. What helps these people stand out from the rest is their ability to turn these nerves into enthusiasm about the subject they are talking about. But like always this will come with time and will become so much easier the more you practice.
The next time you have a presentation that you have to make, take the time to look through these eight tips and incorporate these into the planning for your presentation or public speaking event. The more time you take to plan and prepare the better your presentation will be.