It’s one of the greatest fears known to man [and woman]; Public Speaking!

Some polls even list it right up near the top amongst things that people are afraid of the most, along with activities like swimming with sharks and skydiving, even death!

It seems that nobody in their right mind would choose to become a public speaker!

But whether you are doing it by choice or obligation, the bottom line is that it is not easy, especially if it’s your first time.

Here are some tips we think might help you become a good public speaker:

Be Prepared.

This one is obvious and should be taken seriously by any public speaker. You should know your topic inside-out and have researched and studied it extensively. But preparation is not just about checking your facts, you also need to practice your deliver and make sure you know what you are doing!

Look your best.

Again, this one should be obvious, and whether you are publically speaking to a small gathering of friends and co-workers or a large hall filled with people appearance matters! Look good and you will feel more confident.
Case the joint! If at all possible, check out the room where you’ll be speaking and do a walk-through if you can. The more familiar you are with your environment, the more comfortable you’ll be at the podium.

Know your audience.

If they’re work colleagues they probably want to learn something from you or perhaps even be motivated by you. If they’re friends, they’re likely looking to be entertained.. Know who your audience is, tailor your speech and delivery to them.

Make it personal.

Don’t be afraid to bring your personality into your talk. A good public speaker will use personal experience and anecdotes which not only deliver their words but connect directly to the audience.

Make it dynamic!

Don’t assume that a public speaker is just there to speak and be heard. Don’t be afraid to use the entire room or introduce visual aids such as video, pictures, or slide presentation. If don’t correctly this will only help the audience engage and pay attention

Make them laugh.

This is as important as any of the above – don’t be afraid to use humour. A good public speaker not only delivers their message but they bring a smile to their audience.

You don’t need to write a knock-out stand-up routine, but try to add a few appropriate laughs where you can.

You’ll also find that once you have your audience laughing (in the right places!), then you’ll beam with confidence and enjoy it all the more.