Public speaking has always been one of the most feared tasks. Yet there are many circumstances when it is necessary to stand before an "audience" and verbalize your thoughts or ideas. Whether it be that oral report in high school, reporting your divisions annual sales in a business meeting or selling a product, "life happens" and you should be prepared. Even one on one conversations can be difficult under certain circumstances, such as a job interview or asking the boss for a raise. All of these scenarios fall under the scope of public speaking. So lets look at some easy ways to improve this situation.
First and foremost is the preparation. Do your research to an extent that you are comfortable with the subject matter. Then separate the information into sections. A typical outline for a business presentation might consist of an introduction, overview of the product, cost and reliability. You now have four distinct parts, allowing you to concentrate on smaller bits of information, step by step, instead of attempting to memorize it all. This will also allow you to remember where you were at during the talk if an interruption occurs, which always seems to happen.
You will next want to rehearse. When people are nervous speaking in public they tend to talk quickly to get it over with. Read your speech out loud several times to yourself an perform it with a steady cadence. Don't overdo the slowness to the extent it sounds drowsy. Just relax and time it in your head so it comes out smooth and confident.
Another symptom of nervousness is dry mouth. Always hydrate yourself before delivering your presentation. It is even acceptable to have a glass or bottle of water at the podium with you to take a drink at an appropriate pause point. However, don't drink so much water that if your speech is a long one a potty break is required.
It is also important that you relax immediately prior to taking the "stage". In todays world there are a wide array of activities you can do on your mobile device alone, while waiting. Perusing the internet, reading an e-book or playing a video game are but a few ways to occupy your time and settle your nerves.
Get some rest the night before. No partying allowed. Don't medicate yourself either as this may cause a side affect in the morning.
Dress for the occasion. There is much to be said for how your confidence is enhanced when you know you look good.
Articulate your words and speak loud enough to be heard. Don't yell, just be sure everyone in the room can hear you and talk clearly to be properly understood. Don't fill voids when speaking with er's, uh's and um's. This portrays itself in an unprofessional manner.
It is always a good idea to warm up prior to speaking. Not unlike exercising when you stretch your muscles beforehand. Your vocal chord is a muscle too. A couple of good methods to employ with this technique is humming or repeating your favorite tongue twister several times right before speaking.
Utilizing these tips will allow you to emulate famous speakers for events who sometimes make a living from speaking with confidence in public.