For many people, just the thought of public speaking is enough to cause extreme panic. When you consider that it is man’s greatest fear, this is not surprising. While you may regard the act of standing in front of an audience and delivering a speech or presentation as a war that you will lose, might I suggest that you regard the process as a battle instead? In order to win the war, you must first win the battle.

For those who undergo the act of oral communication with an audience successfully, there is definitely a battle going on in which the speaker is in fight mode. Rather than fleeing the scene or standing frozen to one spot, they are able to assume a fight position and actually take control of their nervousness and allow it to work for them.

Part of the process, however, is believing in yourself. Those who go into battle fearing that they are going to lose stand a much better chance of failure than those who are equipped and intend to win it.

When you address an audience, part of your equipment is the knowledge of your material. If you do not know – inside and out – what you plan to say and how you plan to say it, then the battle is lost. Assuming that you know your material, have you practiced it out loud? Reading it over in your mind is not practice. Saying it out loud is.

Have you video-recorded yourself prior so that you can hear and see yourself in action. Recording yourself in practice is the best weapon you have. It is from that information that you can improve your skills.

Are you able to speak to your audience as if in conversation? That is the next stage and another part of your equipment. Public speaking is the art of communicating with an audience. As such, plan to make eye contact with your listeners and talk to them just as you would in conversation, expressing color, life, and emotion. (If expressing emotion is difficult for you, see my recent article on overcoming a monotone voice.)

Your next step is to remember to breathe. Breathlessness is the number one complaint from inexperienced speakers for two reasons: they never to think to breathe and they wait until they are totally spent before taking their next breath. This sets up an inner fight because there is never enough air to support the words being spoken.

If you are able to equip yourself with the above tips, then you are prepared to go into battle. Believe in yourself. You can win this battle!

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Voice Dynamic.

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