Many people are afraid to speak in front of the public. The reasons are varied and range from fear to criticism or failure, through the anxiety generated by feeling the center of attention, uncertainty about the possible reactions of viewers, or the loss of prestige, among others.
“Much of this fear is irrational, that is, it does not obey logical reasons, but being afraid in the moments before an exhibition is natural,” says Carolina Pollman, a psychologist at Universidad del Pacífico. However, the important thing is that public speaking is a skill that can be learned and developed.
In this sense, the specialist states that the best way to overcome the fear of exhibiting in public is with adequate preparation. “When the subject of the exhibition is mastered, the possibilities of making mistakes are reduced remarkably, which generates confidence and decreases the level of anxiety. It is very useful to maintain a positive mentality before and during the intervention. It is also recommended to take advantage of any opportunity to speak in public, since the practice helps to overcome fear and perfect the ability, “she says.
The decalogue of the speaker
In practice, the Dean of the Faculty of Communications and Design of the Universidad del Pacífico, Francisco Solanich, gives the main tips to succeed as a speaker.
Know the audience. It is always important to know who you are going to speak to. You must know the age range of who will listen to you, your interests, the cultural issue and the idiosyncrasy, among other factors. It is not the same to give a talk in the US than in another country; the examples that one as a speaker delivers are not the same, since outside they do not understand situations that are local. Even in the language one must be careful, since there are words outside or phrases that outside of the US that are not understood.
Lean on a PowerPoint presentation, if possible. This helps to give a more dynamic presentation, with the support of images and videos, to make the presentation more interactive. So, you can support this element and highlight some key messages that will be in the presentation, avoiding reading, but delivering all the information you consider necessary.
Handle and distribute the times in a good way. You should know how much time you have to talk, since it is not the same to talk for 15 minutes and 1 hour. In that framework, you have to properly distribute your presentation in the allotted time. An intervention of more than one hour must be very dynamic, since the listener tends to be distracted and lose attention in the speaker.
Be natural and kind. It is highly valued that the speaker transmits a close image of kindness and empathy. Gone are the rigid speakers, far away and with a sense of superiority over those who listen to him.
Knowing how to use non-verbal language. Keep a good body posture, use hand gestures to emphasize your words and be more dynamic by moving around the presentation space. Sometimes, the speaker can walk slowly on stage and not only remain rigid on the podium, but it is not advisable to walk too fast.
Take care of the language and the words used. You should always use a formal language and avoid rude words. If you do not speak English well, please avoid pronouncing fashion concepts in that language, such as: insight; know how; up grade, disclosure, statement, since, if you do not pronounce them well, the audience will remember the error and not its presentation.
Test. The best thing is to be able to record and then look and review the content of what was said and the movements of the body. If you can not record, practicing before a mirror is a good option.
Do breathing and relaxation exercises before speaking. Move the neck in a circular way or from one side to another and take a glass of water to clean the throat and relax, not to be stiff or tense.
Enter the place safely, walk quietly, with the right body and looking at the audience in general.
Wear appropriate clothing. If it is more comfortable not to wear a tie and feel better with a more casual look, then do it. The important thing is what you are going to say, not how you see yourself as a speaker.
Finally, Solanich recommends not offering to talk about something that is not mastered to perfection. “The issue of security and knowledge of what is going to speak automatically gives way to an adequate fluency in the expression and transmits confidence to the audience. Have a positive mindset and see that the opportunity to speak in public is a good option to showcase your talents and abilities. “