These Free tips on public speaking will help you because they're about people just like you. You'll find some oral presentation tips which will help build your confidence by increasing your understanding of the topic. You'll also find some public speaking anxiety tips that are specifically designed to help out with that.
These tips are based on answers to a quick poll I did at my Toastmasters Club recently. I asked everyone to tell me their number one reason for wanting to overcome their public speaking fears.
Here's nine of the typical issues they raised with my thoughts on each.
- How do I stop my knees wobbling? You know it's interesting to me that of the thousands of people I've watched do public speaking, I've never actually seen anyone's knees wobble! I'm not saying it hasn't happened, just that it's never apparent to the audience.
Hands shaking I have seen a lot and of course lots of verbal signs of nervousness like stuttering, ums and ahhs.
One of my best free tips on public speaking on how to stop any of these physical signs of nerves is don't.
Just accept them and get on with the job. None of them will actually stop you delivering your talk so just be ok with them as part of your show ... for now. They will definitely go away quite quickly if you stay on the path of
Understand it, Love it and Practice it.
- How do I get to sleep the night before I have to give a speech? Think about your speech in any way that makes you feel good.
Hey no-one said that free tips on public speaking have to be complicated!
Simply dismiss any other thoughts if they come in to the mind by just gently letting them go.
If you are under-prepared well ... you're under-prepared. If you can do anything about that at this late stage, then get up and do it. If not then smile and accept that you're absolutely as well prepared as you are and have a good sleep.
- I'm inspired by great famous speakers but I'm too scared to try and speak like them.Keep being inspired by the great speakers but with this one caveat. Don't look up to them ... learn from them.
Watch these inspiring talks.
- I've turned down jobs because I'm so nervous about speaking in front of subordinates.A great example of how this fear stops people living how they want to. I've managed and led people for decades both as a boss and as a consultant and I think there is one key to this whole issue. Don't speak in front of them ... speak with them.
People will respond to you if you treat them with respect and get them involved in a conversation, rather than a lecture. Sounds obvious but in my experience I've seen virtually no bosses who get this. Be different.
Also in work meetings I never understood why the boss should be the Chair. Share the jobs around including the job of running the meeting. Don't be selfish - let others experience the thrill of learning from your free tips on public speaking!
Finally if you must meet with a group of employees make sure someone is writing down WHO will do WHAT by WHEN. Then give everyone a copy before they leave the meeting. If your meetings are seen as a way of getting stuff done, instead of a boring talk-fest (or even worse a sermon from you) then you'll start looking forward to them instead of dreading them.
- I want to be able to inspire people. Again it breaks my heart to think of how many people want this but they're too scared to speak up. In my experience here's how to inspire people.
If you look at the most admired human beings in history it seems to me that they were the most authentic. They were fully human, or as close to that ideal as it's possible to get. They didn't let pathetic considerations like how 'successful' they were, or what others thought of them or to get in the way of being themselves.
If you're nervous about public speaking ... ok, so are most people. They are probably looking for free tips on public speaking just like you are.
Now get on with being yourself because we can't wait to hear from you. (You're probably doing a lousy job at being other people anyway :)
- English is my second language so I feel like a total idiot when I speak in public in front of an english speaking audience.I am always inspired and a bit in awe of people like this lady, who have not only learnt multiple languages but have had the courage to leave their homeland and travel half away across the world to settle in a new country. As I explained to her during an evaluation of one of her talks ... everyone else in the audience is inspired too.
No-one will think you're stupid if you have a go at public speaking despite a supposed disadvantage like an accent. Didn't stop Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and many more.
Listen to Churchill
and notice the pronounced lisp he struggled with (not to mention his depression).
- I have a couple of wedding speeches to give and I want to do well because I've seen some excellent ones and some really bad ones in the past.A really common cause of public speaking anxiety even though it happens on a joyful occasion. Amazing what the mind can do to bollix things up!
More free tips on public speaking related to wedding speeches.
I'm not a specialist in this area but the link below is a great web-site for all aspects of wedding speeches.
- I want to stop freezing half way through a talk. Well put more clothes on.
Seriously though, there is no reason to be afraid of this. I've seen some of the greatest presenters in the world lose track of their thoughts mid-stream. I'll bet everyone in the audience has done it in converstaions too.
One of the most important of the free tips on public speaking is ... Always set yourself up to win.
What I mean by that is always have a quick way of getting back on track if you do wander off into the woods. The obvious way is to use Powerpoint or to have a written speech outline handy.
- I want to progress from working with computers all the time to communicating better with people and speaking with confidence. The geeks are taking over the world!
Good thing too.
My advice regarding this widespread lack of confidence about public speaking is as always ...
Understand It, Love It and Practice It.
One final thought in amongst all of these free tips on public speaking is Steven Covey's advice to 'seek to understand before being understood'.
Apply that to all of your public speaking and you'll never go wrong. Seek to understand your audience and what they want and you'll be much more confident when you talk with them.