Standing in front of an audience is already a daunting task, let alone to stand and talk in front of them simultaneously, in English. Giving a structured speech to a group of people who are well aware of the fact that you are going to talk requires a lot more than guts and will. It needs preparation and flexibility, too.
Based on several publications I have managed to read, here I compile and list down 10 famous steps (out of so many) that I believe can and will help you overcome the fear of speaking in public.
1. Prepare your points!
No matter how good you are in terms of talking, you will need to prepare your speech. Get your points right, have some facts to support them and make sure you know everything there is to know about the topic, backwards and forwards.
Practice the speech and visualize the style of it. Imagine the response you will get from the audience and determine how you are going to handle it. Train yourself to be flexible. Don't forget to check and re-check your grammar!
3. Be there early!
Come early and get the mood right. Check the room and its size so you can tell how loud you should or shouldn't be. Get on the stage and move around it. Make sure you feel comfortable there.
4. Look confident and be confident!
Bring forth your self-confidence. If you think you are not confident enough, then take your time to have it. Do not rush as your confidence will slowly grow by time.
5. Make eye contact!
It is never a good oral presentation if there is no eye contact involved. Look at your audience!
6. Choose a target!
If eye contact makes you feel threatened in some ways, choose a target. Find someone among the crowd who presents you with warmth and positiveness, look at him or her and gradually put your eyes on everyone else. Repeat the steps.
7. Don't forget to smile!
As smiles bring you happiness, give them back! Make sure the audience know that you are happy to be there. It is never wrong to smile at times even when the topic you are presenting is serious. Choose and take your time to smile.
8. Take a pause and breathe!
Do not rush your speech! Take some pauses in-between long sentences and breathe slowly. The more you rush yourself, the more you will panic and lose confidence. So don't.
9. Play with intonations!
Adjust you intonations and make sure they vary from slow and steady to fast and firm. Change them accordingly so that your speech won't be monotonous.
10. It's okay to be nervous!
Whenever you feel nervous, just know that you're being normal. Everybody will experience stage fright, and that includes the experts and those with more experience. The difference is how you handle it. Take it and play along with it. It's okay!
So, what are you waiting for? You know the steps, now speak!