Are you someone who avoids public speaking? Giving a presentation doesn’t have to be stressful and won’t age you. You can learn how to be savvy every time you talk to a crowd or at a business meeting. If you follow a few basic principles, public speaking can be satisfying and upbeat. And the good news is you can enjoy it along with your audience.

Reduce the Stress
Let’s face it, no matter what business you’re in, you’ll probably have to speak to a group to complete a task or update your team, clients and others in your industry. Don’t go into avoidance mode or have an anxiety attack over it. There are rewards to speaking to groups of people and you can learn how to do so easily and with aplomb. With a few essential pointers, you’ll not only have them smiling, you may even forget to glance at your watch.

We can rile ourselves up if we don’t take charge of our thoughts regarding public speaking, so don’t convince yourself that it’s stressful because it doesn’t have to be. Instead begin with the idea that public speaking can be easy and remind yourself that your can do it. Think of something that you were uncomfortable with in your life and thought you’d never get the hang of. Once you mastered it, the task seemed downright simple. Even if your knees are a-knocking at that thought of it, take heart. Millions of people speak with ease in public all the time and so can you without downing antacid tablets and sleeping pills.

I find public speaking energizing because it gets my energy pumped and stimulates my mind. To me, excitement and anxiousness are really the same and you can learn to use them to your advantage. No matter how often I stand before a crowd, that initial excitement or nervous energy is present. So what? The first time I spoke before a large audience was daunting. I felt my pulse racing and my mouth was dry like sandpaper. My biggest fear then was that I would open my mouth and no sound would come out. Nothing. Or that I’d stand in front of all those expectant people and not be able to remember anything I had prepared. Back then, I took copious notes and studied into the wee hours to get it all right. But then I discovered all that work and stressing was really unnecessary.

You can make the excitement or nervousness work for you. When you feel that way, let it show in your voice. You’ll appear to love what you’re talking about and that surge of excitement will get your audience, whomever it is, charged up too. Have you ever heard a dull speaker that made you feel that you wanted to run out of the room? You were bored beyond distraction. With the excitement you generate, you’ll never bore your audience.

Simplify:
The more information you give them, the better off your presentation will be. That’s what I used to believe but that’s just wrong. In fact, people won’t remember more than a few basic facts or ideas so stick to the main points and keep it simple. That’s also true with the notes you hold in your hand. One of my nightmares when I first spoke publicly was that I would fumble with my notes, they’d fall to the floor, the order would be lost and I’d sound like a driveling idiot. Guess what, it never happened. Now I have a brief outline that doesn’t overwhelm me and I am free to make real contact with my audience.

Give Value:
Remember why you’re there and what your purpose is. No matter what the situation or the topic, your primary goal is to give something of value to the people in the room. Large or small, your audience really wants you to succeed and can be more encouraging than you’ve imagined. If they receive something of value and leave feeling good about the company, the job or themselves, you’ll be successful in their eyes so lose the perfection hang-up. Even if you momentarily blunder, they’ll be supportive. What you need is to also remind yourself of your own worth and relax some of the pressure you put on you.

What if…
People fear speaking in public because they think that something terrible will happen and it usually doesn’t. No matter what happens or how your audience responds to you, you can use it all to your advantage. You need to remind yourself often that you can handle whatever will occur including the unexpected.

Your audience responds to your earnestness, warmth and clarity. When appropriate, share something about you that makes you believable, use humor and demonstrate that you can be credible. Let them know that you not only value what you’re speaking about, you also appreciate them. I always thank an audience for being at one of my seminars and making the time to be there. Being personable rather than stiff and rigid is much more believable and shows you as the valuable human being that you are.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Jo Anne White is an international author, speaker, certified life, leadership, business coach and energy intuitive. Her seminars, books, CD's and DVD's inspire and motivate individuals and companies to succeed and and achieve.