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Tips On Public Speaking

Updated on February 6, 2010

Public speaking can be very frightening for those who do not have much experience in public speaking. It can even be frightening for professional public speakers! Public speaking phobias effect many millions of people, and the anxiety of public speaking can be debilitating to those who do not know how to effectively deal with it. I have previously written on how to cure your public speaking phobia, and today I would like to give some general tips on public speaking.

If you have had any experience with getting up in front of a crowd to give a speech or give a presentation, then you probably recall the feeling of fear that you felt. Your palms were sweaty. You may have felt a knot in your stomach. You almost certainly had a racing heartbeat. No one, other than adrenaline junkies, wants to feel any of these sorts of things. I felt these things every time I had to give a speech in front of a bunch of people, and I can attest to how terrible of a feeling it is to have to deal with these problems. But where do they come from?

Basically, these responses come from a part of your nervous system called the Sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system regulates your flight-or-fight response, and it causes all of the symptoms of fear that I described above. The flight-or-fight response was a good thing many years ago when encountering a lion in the African bush, or a woolly mammoth in Europe, but the flight-or-fight response is not often used by people in today's society. When you get in front of a group of people to give a speech, your sympathetic nervous system will often kick into action, even though you don't want it to, because your body thinks that you are in physical danger.So how can you counter this response, and stay calm so that you can give a good speech? I have compiled a few tips that I believe will help any person who is about to give a public speech, and would like it to go off without a hitch.

  • Stay calm

I know that this is easier said than done, but if you attempt to stay calm while giving a speech, it can really help. Try doing deep breathing exercises before a speech, because it can often help to keep you calm and not panicked during the speech itself. I have found that by mentally calming myself, and clearing my mind of thoughts before a speech, I was able to stay much more calm during the speech than if I had dwelt on all the bad things that I thought would happen.

  • Keep notes

You should be doing this one anyway if you are giving a big speech, but there is an added benefit of keeping notes whenever you give a big speech, or a small one. The notes help to act as a security blanket that you can fall back on whenever you are concerned about a part of your speech. It is nice to know that even if you lose your place, you will be able to find it again, and this knowledge will often be comforting, and help you to feel more at home while giving a public speech.

  • Have fun!

My final public speaking tip is to have fun while giving a speech, because you will find that it will be a whole lot easier once you lighten up and enjoy yourself. Instead of concentrating of all of the potential bad things that could happen, concentrate on all of the good things that will almost certainly happen. Things like people enjoying your speech and viewing you in a more positive light. Doing this will definitely hep your outlook when it comes to public speaking.

That covers it for this page on public speaking tips. Hopefully you found something that will help you in your speeches, and you will be able to perform better when speaking in public. Best of luck to your and your speech endeavors.


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