How to overcome fear of public speaking

Posted: 7th December 2016 11:03

Feeling nervous when speaking in public is a common affliction, no matter how many people are in the audience. This anxiety can make it difficult for you to deliver an engaging speech or even get your message across. As veterans of countless exhibitions and conferences, we’ve witnessed the full spectrum of speeches from inspirational to cringe-worthy.

Public speaking is an important skill to master and has the potential to really put you and the business you represent on the map. So if like many other people you are a nervous or inexperienced speaker, we have some learned tips to help you get over your fear of public speaking.

Preparation, preparation, preparation

It may sound obvious, but it’s important to prepare what you are going to say beforehand and know how long it takes to cover everything in your talk. If possible, ask someone to watch as you run through the presentation and get their feedback on how well paced it is.

If you’re speaking at more intimate venue, then could think about conversation openers to get people engaging with you. This will help you take control of how people respond to your talk, with the added bonus of making you feel more confident that people are actually listening to you.

Make sure you know your facts

By learning all your facts and figures off by heart before going into any presentation or exhibition, whatever you say will immediately have more credibility. Even if you are already very knowledgeable about your company, it is important that you go through the figures again until you can recount them ad verbatim.

One of the main reasons that people get nervous, or lose confidence when talking in public, is because they muddle important facts and figures. If you know your facts and figures inside out, then you are more likely to be confident about what you are saying.

Prepare for questions you might be asked

Another great way of looking and sounding more confident is to prepare answers for questions that you are likely to get asked. Consider the nature of the talk and what your company offers, and you should be able to think of a few questions that people would want to ask you. If you’re stuck, ask friends and colleagues what questions they might ask of your speech.

Although you can’t prepare for every question, you can get a good idea of what to expect on the day and pre-plan your responses. Not only will you feel more confident going into the talk, what you say will have more authority and you’ll avoid saying something off the cuff, which you might regret later.

Ask your audience how it went

Don’t be afraid to get feedback from your audience after the talk. This can be in the form of feedback sheets that you hand out to people, or an informal discussion if you’re feeling brave. If you’re new to public speaking, then any advice on how you came across is invaluable. While someone who presents a lot, may have a routine that they rely on to get you through the talk, it may not be suitable for every audience.

If you are looking for an exhibition stand for an upcoming talk or event, then make sure you get in touch with MJ Exhibitions