I hate public speaking, but my job requires it! How can I improve my public speaking skills?
NEXT for Women’s resident life and confidence coach, Jules, weighs in below:
This is one of the most-asked questions I receive – from students and CEOs alike! Developing your presentations skills is a step-by-step process, and needs to start from wherever you are now. It’s a big topic, so here are my top three tips to give you food for thought.
Make it a priority to give yourself time to work on your presentation. Unenthusiastic public speakers tend to avoid presentations until the last minute, but failing to allocate enough preparation time is one of the main causes of public speaking fear and anxiety. Schedule it and do it. Use bullet points rather than a script, as this will keep you on track and allow you to flow naturally. Scripts just make us sound, well, scripted, and you’ll spend more time trying to memorize the words than creating a strong message. The more time you give yourself, the more time you will have to determine exactly what you want to say, and how.
Before you compile your content, ask yourself what’s my purpose in doing this? To inform, to entertain, to educate, to sell? So many people give presentations without ever considering why. Even loathsome public speakers have something to gain from a presentation well done. Know what your personal purpose, the purpose of the company and most importantly your audience’s purpose are. This will help keep you focused and the content relevant.
There is countless research about how your clothes affect your posture, which subsequently influences your mood. Make sure your posture matches the occasion and purpose of your presentation. Take the time to choose an outfit that it is giving you the kind of posture that matches with your purpose. Wear the outfit before you present, including underwear and shoes, to make surethat you are comfortable.
These tips may seem simple because they are, yet so few people follow them. Developing your speaking skills will not matter if these other elements are not in sync, so help yourself by getting these in place first and you will stand out!
Remember, believe in yourself.
Jules is a leading specialist in self confidence and self belief for working women -and NEXT for Women’s resident life and confidence coach. Founder of The Confidence Garden and Lead Coach at Positive Belief, she is the only woman to reach the finals of “Britain’s Next Top Coach.” Jules has been featured on BBC radio, within the UK press, and has served as guest speaker on a variety of global telesummits. She is an inspiration to thousands of women and her talks about her own personal journey from the depths of doubt into a world of possibilities offer a fresh, positive perspective on life.
Need advice on how to deal with a difficult situation at work? Want tips to boost your self esteem? Submit your question for Jules here!