When you watch people speak on a stage and captivate an entire room, do you ever think, “I could never do that”?
Speaking on stage is something many people fear – especially if they have never done it before. And if you’re introverted, the idea of speaking on stage may scare you even more.
Introverts are normally reserved or quiet people who prefer to listen rather than talk. When you feel most comfortable listening to others tell stories, it’s hard to flip the switch and feel confident when other people have to listen to you.
In fact, the idea of speaking in front of an audience can be scary! According to Psychology Today, fear of public speaking is rooted from the idea that you will humiliate yourself in front of an audience.
What if you tripped or made a mistake? What if no one found your topic captivating?
Do you want to get over your fear of public speaking?
Follow these tips to show up with confidence when you speak publicly:
- Establish your credibility. Write your speech in a way that establishes your credibility, connects with the audience, and establishes a strong factual foundation for your speech.
- Think about the benefits. How will the words you are preparing to say benefit people’s lives? When writing your speech, communicate those benefits and give your audience a reason to care about the words you say.
- When you can communicate how your speech can change someone’s life, they are more likely to be engaged with the words you have to say.
- Prepare. When public speaking, preparation is key! Understand what you will be speaking about and plan what you will say or do. This will help reduce the tension.
- Write talking points. You won’t need to write the entire speech or script. Just write down talking points that will help jog your memory and lead you on the right track. This will help you stay present and sound natural when you speak in front of an audience.
- Research. Familiarize yourself with the topic you’ll be speaking about. Are there any current events you can refer to that will keep the audience engaged?
- Practice. Practice giving your speech in front of the mirror or with a trusted friend or relative. Going through your speech a few times will help you feel more confident and train you to keep eye contact with your audience.
- Start with a joke. Is there room for you to start with a joke? Hearing laughter at the beginning of your talk will help you to feel more comfortable and get the audience to engage with what you’re talking about as well.
- Practice being present. Do what you can to calm your body and your mind before and during your speech. Speak slowly, breathe, and smile at the audience! If you feel nervous the moment you step on stage, remember that even the best performers experience stage fright.
- Record yourself beforehand. Consider recording yourself speaking. This will help you master your topic and give you an idea of how your speech will flow. You’ll be able to hear parts of your speech where you can improve.
As you develop your public speaking skills, you might be surprised that it will lead to confidence in your everyday life.
If you’re speaking publicly about your work or research you have done, public speaking can be a way for you to validate your research and learn which aspects resonate with an audience most.
You can feel both nervous AND ready to speak publicly! When you finally step on stage, take a deep breath and get ready to captivate the audience with all the preparation you have done.