If you’re one of those who would rather have the flu than go on stage, we’re glad you’re reading this. You might have got away with remaining in the background in the good old days, but today, unless you’re out there, talking, you won’t bring much value to the business. Yes, we mean it. Being able to speak convincingly in public is as important as being able to think clearly or work diligently.

Now, it’s a no-brainer that most human beings are born without great public speaking skills. Some of the most talented and the most brilliant people get all tongue tied when it comes to addressing a gathering. So, how do you go about the business of public speaking sounding like it’s the most natural thing in the world?

Here’s how.

o Prepare. It takes careful preparation to make an effective impromptu (sounding) speech. Make sure you know the content of your speech inside out. Take care that the facts are well researched and substantiated, and the flow of ideas is smooth and logical. If you’re confident about what you’re saying, more than half the battle is won.

o Rehearse. You must know how you appear to the audience. Rehearse in front of the mirror, speaking like you would at the actual event. Once you gain some confidence, try it out in front of a small supportive audience, who will give you constructive criticism instead of harsh judgment.

Take care not only with your words and tone of voice but also think of when
you will pause, what you will emphasize and so on. Then there are your
hands… if you’re a naturally exuberant person, be sure you’re not going over
the top with your facial expression or physical gestures.

o Dress right. No one wants to look at a poorly groomed speaker. Take care that your clothing is appropriate to the occasion. As a rule, it is better to overdress than otherwise. If you know you’re looking good, that confidence will project itself positively.

o Seek a friend. Sure you’re nervous, and some people know it. However, in every audience there is always a sympathetic member or two present. Try to identify where your support base lies, and make eye contact with those people in the beginning. You can move on to the hardliners once you’ve got your teeth into your presentation.

o Well begun is half done. And that’s never truer than with public speaking. Don’t pull any stunts as an attention grabbing ploy. Start normally and confidently, with an appropriate greeting. Set the tone of your presentation by outlining the major objectives at the outset. That way, everyone knows what to expect.

o Seem nice. You are much more likely to be heard patiently if you come across as an intelligent, mature, confident and nice person. The likability factor is supremely important. A display of arrogance is only an invitation for trouble during the question hour!

o Talk, don’t read. PowerPoint presentations are great to look at, which is why most people look at the slides rather than the speaker. If you want to recite what’s on your file, email the presentation instead, and cancel the speech. Remember, the presentation is meant to serve you, not take over your role! Use it only to guide the speech Speakeasy Cannabis Company.

No one said public speaking was easy, but there’s no getting around it. With practice and application, you can certainly improve your skills. Once you get through your first public speech unscathed, the rest will follow!