How do you feel about standing in front of a huge crowd? Confident? Nervous? Nauseous even? Well, that’s okay. Almost all people have stage fright. It’s not so easy to stand on spotlight when you’re expected to say something profound or hilarious. Don’t allow your knees to go wobbly. Pull yourself together and address your audience like a pro! And it all starts with practice.
Everything starts with preparation. The only reason you’re panicking is because you didn’t prepare enough. If you don’t know what you’re going to do, or if you have no idea what you’re going to say, you are definitely going to throw up on stage. But if you have prepared a comprehensive outline of your speech and you have copied your key points in bullets, you’re sure to be guided everytime you start a new paragraph.
Old timers use index cards to do this trick. It still works wonders today. Even if you’re using PowerPoint presentation during your speech, you can write down key ideas and references on your index cards which you don’t have to include on your slides.
Another old strategy that’s still reliable today is delivering your speech in front of a big mirror for practice. The operative word is deliver. Speakers sometimes forget that public speaking should be interactive enough where the audience is encouraged and moved to react. Nobody likes a dry lecture.
When you practice delivering your speech in a mirror, you will realize that gestures improve your speech. You can also study how your face moves and discover if the way you stand is effective. You should also check if you’re projecting a good overall impression.