A research showed that people are less afraid to die than to speak in public.
Symptoms which correspond with fear of public speaking are a shaking voice, fast heartbeat, sweaty palms, redness and dry mouth. I learned rhetoric from a TV presenter Suzana Perman. I would like to publicly thank her for all of the knowledge she passed onto me. Rhetoric deals with correct speech, appearance and facial expressions.
A few days ago I met Filip Pesek who told me that most people are worried about one thing – will they suffer through another speech? It is thus important to show the audience in the first 30 seconds that they will enjoy your company and learn many new/useful/important information. He also mentioned a US study which revealed that the ideal number of words per minute is 190 (when we speak live/when people see us). Filip also wisely pointed out that the speed is usually not an issue with most speakers as we usually speak between 140 and 230 words. The true problem is the unchanging speed of talking which makes the person sound boring and monotonous. He also advises the speaker to warm up the voice, to take breaks and to speed up or slow down when speaking.
Other tips for public speaking:
– The presentation begins before you first speak in front of an audience. The audience will always notice facial expression, gestures and clothes.
– The following numbers are important to remember for public speaking: 55 % of the things spoken are represented by our non-verbal language (facial expression, body language), 38 % is your voice (the pitch, volume) and only 7 % the things actually spoken.
– Practice at least twice just before the event.
– Take a deep breath before starting the presentation.
– Drink a glass of water before the presentation.
– Be well prepared. It is important to know who your audience is.
– Avoid reading while speaking in public as it makes you lose eye contact.
– It is important not to stare at a single point. Your eyes should travel across the whole room.
– While speaking avoid fillers like as you know, truly – it makes you seem nervous and sloppy.
– Encourage your audience to participate in the conversation.
– Do not apologize during the speech as it will make the audience focus on the reason.
– Use your hands. They make it easier to think.
– Practice public speaking in front of a mirror.
– Think positive things before stepping in front of the audience.
– Try to follow three main rules. (ETOS – charisma, personality, eye contact – say the things the audience wants to hear; PATOS – affect the emotions – how would it be, if… and LOGOS – prove or have arguments).
– Before the speech talk, sing or scream to relax your vocal cords,
– If you have trouble with shaking or twitching do some squats before the speach, which points the energy elsewhere.
– Before the speech ask yourself what will you say, to whom, where and how.