Training For Public Speaking

Overcome Your Fears

Terrified of public speaking at a wedding, presentation or meeting? If so, then you are not alone. Statistics show that more people today are afraid of speaking in public than they are of dying. In fact seventy five percent of people worldwide suffer from speech anxiety, and it seems to affect both men and women equally. So what is it about standing in front of a crowd that makes our knees go weak and our insides do somersaults? Some people are just plain shy and would rather stay out of the spotlight than right smack in the middle of it. Still others have bad memories of school presentations gone wrong. But many people simply lack confidence in their skills as a public speaker. The good news is that you can overcome your fears, this is one phobia that can easily be taken care of with some quality public speaking training. Listed below are some skills that each public speaker needs as well as some top-notch organizations that deal with public speaking training.

Be Prepared

Just as coaches push their athletes to put in effort in practice in order to be ready for the game, so does a public speaker have to put in time planning before their speaking engagement. Being organized and prepared for the speech is half the battle. If you feel like you lack this skill, then work on small organizational skills everyday. Make a list for the grocery store rather than just winging it. Plan your day and stick to your schedule. Get all of those upcoming doctors' appointments on the calendar. By practicing organization in small ways, you will naturally learn to be better organized for the big presentations. Always outline your speech in great detail weeks before the big day. Practice, practice, and then practice your speech some more. The more that you practice, the more prepared you will feel. If you are given a topic that you feel unsure about, research it thoroughly. You as the speaker should always be the expert. A good rule of thumb is to feel overly confident about your topic that you don't fear the Q & A session, but instead you welcome it.

Be Concise

There is nothing worse than a speaker who drags on and on, disregarding the shuffling of the papers and the audience full of people packing up their things. As a public speaker, you must learn to be clear and concise. Limit your main points to no more than seven. Research has proved that is the maximum number of new pieces of information that the brain can hold in short-term memory. The best thing to do is to have fewer main points and then several supporting details that the audience will also be able to remember. Set a reasonable time limit on yourself and stick to it. Keep things simple and tell the audience only what they need to know. Don't overwhelm with facts and figures, but use them instead as evidence of your main points.

Be Engaging

It is vitally important that you find a way to connect with your audience. Once they feel that you understand them, they will buy into what you are saying. One way to engage your audience is to use visual aids. Many people learn visually and having a PowerPoint presentation will help them to stay absorbed in what you are saying. Also, use humor to lighten the mood and relax your audience, as well as yourself. If you are a good story-teller, then you can also be a good public speaker. Practice telling stories to friends and family to perfect this skill. There is no better way to connect with your audience and ensure that they are fully engaged than to let them see a piece of who you really are.

Seek Opportunities For Public Speaking

Seeking opportunities to speak in public is excellent training as this gives you practice which will improve your public speaking skills and lessen your nerves. Always try to seize speaking opportunities of a topic that you are passionate about. People will see your passion shine through when you speak. Perhaps the best public speaking training you can receive is at an organization that is trained to do just that. Toastmasters International is a unique organization that is currently helping nearly a quarter of a million people in 106 different countries conquer the fear of public speaking. Each Toastmaster meeting is of about 20 people who practice speaking in public and help one another hone their skills. The rare thing about this group is that there is no instructor in the meeting, but instead group members take turns leading each week. The Leaders Institute is another international organization that helps to groom members of Fortune 500 companies into outstanding public speakers every year. They offer a wide range of public speaking courses, as well as team building activities and leadership training. Home study courses are available, in addition to many public courses and seminars. Identify the skills that you need help with and seek out public speaking training that fits your needs and your style to start beating your fear today!

Ron Lawson invites you to Public Speaking Tips .Net, a public speaking blog with resources on being the best public speaker. Get some great public speaking tips and information on public speaking courses.