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(So What’s the Big Deal Anyway?)
You know it had to happen! This is the moment you've feared the most. Don't worry! You're not alone -- most people fear public speaking. No matter what level of experience you have, here are a few points to think about when you step in front of a crowd.
- Breathe (you may be surprised how many people forget to do this and how much it helps)
- Relax (this may be hard to do, but it might help if you refer to the first point)
- Know What You're Talking About (understand what you're speaking about, don't make up things, people can generally tell when you're faking it)
- Talk About What You Know (speak from personal experience and be yourself, a good speaker speaks from the heart)
- Posture (this is your moment, so take it and own it, stand up and be counted for)
- Articulate (clearly say your words and pause at the end of sentences -- when practicing it helps to exaggerate)
- Make Eye Contact (look into my eyes, you can keep people's attention by looking at them. If you can't make direct eye contact, try looking at people's foreheads)
- Project (talk clearly and loud, even if you think you are loud, you probably aren't)
- Use Complete Sentences (use statements that make sense and try not to drop off the end of your sentences)
- Practice (try to memorize or run through your speech as much as possible, practice in front of a mirror and number any note cards you may use)
. . . and don't forget to breathe!