Public Speaking 101: Tips to Get Through It

“I’d love to give a presentation on social selling to the company.”

The words slipped right out of my mouth before I could even process what I was saying. No one had asked me to present. No one had even bothered to ask me for social selling advice in the past.

So why was I offering to give a presentation on social selling?

Because I just knew that I had to do it. To gain some more experience, teach my coworkers how they can use social media to their advantage, and to prove to myself that I could do it.tumblr_inline_nbrq1drg2f1rvajeq

The next thing I knew, I was up in front of about 50 employees with two (or was it three?) cameras all set on me as I talked about social selling for 30 minutes. And those cameras? They were recording so my presentation can be sent to over a thousand employees in other locations.

No pressure.

Public speaking is never easy, no matter how much experience you’ve had. That stage fright never really goes away. I was terrified up until I started my presentation and let what I had practiced come into play.

If you’re dealing with a public speaking event, here are a few of my tips to help you get through it:

  1. Take a Public Speaking Course
    If you haven’t already taken a public speaking course, sign up for one today! The public speaking course I took was back in college a few years ago, but the techniques I learned then still help me with presentations today. If you can’t take a public speaking course…
  2. Try out Toastmasters
    Toastmasters has meetings in almost any city you can think of. They’re an organization that is dedicated to helping people develop communication and leadership skills. When you attend a meeting, you get to practice your presentation or speech in front of others, and they will offer feedback that will help you hone your skills.
  3. Join an Actors Group
    Acting can help you get used to being in front of a crowd. It might be intimidating at first, but even if you’re not a such great actor, you can still have fun while learning to get in front of a crowd.
  4. Outline Your Speech
    Do not write a 5 paragraph essay and then attempt to memorize it. It never goes over well. Simply outline your speech with specific points and facts that you want to make sure you mention in your speech and then talk about those points and facts when you present. This keeps the pressure of trying to make sure every word is perfect away and focuses more on the ideas and facts you want to present.
  5. Prep In Advance
    This means practicing your presentation, getting your PowerPoint slides ready, and memorizing your speech outline. Practice for 15 minutes a day and you’ll be fine.

Do you have any more suggestions to make? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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