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3 Tips for Public Speaking Success

By Lauren Hoffman

You have been working all week on your presentation to the company execs. Palms sweating, knees shaking, and voice trembling, you walk to the front of the room and barely manage to get out an awkward introduction.

You are not alone… 75% of people are thought to have glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking.

To help calm your nerves, be as prepared as possible. Start with these three tips:

1. Know Your Audience -- and what they want

Do some research, and determine who will be listening to your presentation. Knowing why they are attending your presentation, what their job responsibilities are, and how knowledgeable they are on the topic you are speaking on will help you to tailor your presentation exactly for them, keeping them interested and engaged. But most of all, understand what you want each of them to get out of the presentation – what one or two actionable items will come out of this time they spend with you?

2. Think Quality over Quantity with Slides

There’s a backlash brewing against using slides, yet having something to follow does make your presentation go more smoothly. If you do chose to use slides, do not fill each slide with paragraphs, and never read the slide word for word. Instead, use each slide as a reference point with bulleted topics and interesting graphics that help your audience remember the point you’re making. Consider including a video (if it is relevant) as it can act as a break to allow you to think over your next speaking points.

3. Master the Content

Once you feel comfortable with the content of your presentation, you will feel much more comfortable delivering it to an audience. If you have the opportunity to speak on a topic you know little about, politely decline, knowing you do not have the insight to speak comfortably and proficiently.

Public speaking can be a great way to display your knowledge and expertise on a topic if you arm yourself with the right tools. If you would like more tips, PR News has many more public speaking pointers that are sure to be helpful.