Public Speaking: Not Always Easy, but Always Important
Many people are absolutely terrified of speaking in public. In small groups they are fine, but put a large group of people in front of them and they instantly freeze up. People fear being judged, not being understood, or even forgetting how to speak English! All of this is understandable, but public speaking is an indispensable skill for a leader. Through speaking you are able to motivate people, communicate your intent, educate others, and build consensus. A few tips to get comfortable:
First, talk about what you know and make sure that you are fully prepared. If you’re doing a presentation, know your material inside out and backwards.
To help with nerves, remember to breathe. If you hold your breath, you have nowhere to release the energy except in your voice.
Instead of talking to the entire audience at once, select a few specific people to direct your remarks to. This will make it seem more like a conversation.
Finally, if it is a lifeline to clients and staff, hire a speaking coach, get critiqued, change, and practice! This is not a natural skill for most people. Like any other skill, you can get stronger and more memorable at public speaking with practice.
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