Most people have a fear of speaking to a large group. This is a totally normal apprehension. People may visualise the audience laughing at them, or shouting out. This is an extremely rare occurrence, unless you are a politician.
Most people listening to you are aware of the pressures you are under and would never change places with you.
These guidelines will help you to overcome your fears.
Read through your presentation beforehand. Read around the subject, so that you are confident that you know more than your audience, even after you have spoken. If you know your subject then you will come across in an interesting way and keep the attention of your audience.
Your expectations are obvious in your body language. If your audience sees that you expect to do badly, you will do badly. Expectation is vital.
This strategy also prevents you from pacing back and forth and worrying yourself to death until you go on. There is no point in cramming now, if you don’t know it, you wont, and it will show.
Eye contact is vital if you are to judge their understanding so that you can change the pace of your delivery if necessary.
You should never, never read your speech from a sheet.
This makes you appear more confident and enables your audience to take it in more easily. If you are talking slower, it is easier for your audience to maintain their attention, and momentary lapses in their concentration mean that they miss less.
This maintains interest. You should speak clearly and project your voice, rather than shouting. Talking quietly in key segments means that your listeners will need to actively listen to those parts of your presentation.
Hand gestures can be used for emphasis only.
Holding your hands out, with the thumbs uppermost is a very powerful dominance gesture. Watch politicians speaking, they all use this gesture.
Immersing yourself in the exploration of others’ conversational approaches brings forth a perplexing maze of observations and reflections.
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