Asking someone to speak to a group of their peers can be the most intimidating thing anyone ever faces in business. For most people their next question is: "How can I get out of this?
It is however a great and grand opportunity to speak in public. We all get the jitters at times. I believe you can overcome the fear of public speaking because I did. Here are a few tips to make it easier to do.
1. Know the material you will speak on.
2. Decide; what are the important things I must get across to the listener?
3. Write out your talk like you are talking to a friend.
4. I like to either have an outline or cards with my key reminders of what I am to say. (the reason I prefer an outline is cards can be fumbled & dropped.)
5. Practice your talk in front of a mirror. Revise points that do not flow right.
6. If you will be using a microphone, opt for a lapel mike if available, as that leaves your hands free.
7. If you are a little nervous it is o.k. (The audience want you to succeed.)
8. Relax, physically relax your body before you get up to talk. Remember to stop & breathe. Pauses are good since you may be tempted to talk too fast.
9. Look at people. If you find someone up front that you know well you can look at them & talk like you are talking to them part of the time.
10. Get you audience involved by asking questions that call for them to raise their hand to agree and raise yours first. You could ask a question like: "If you have ever felt that way raise your hand." As you raise your hand, they will to. Zig Ziglar tells how he greets people with "good morning!" any time of day & 9 out of 10 answer "good morning!" back even at night. There are some things that we all do automatically.
11. Leave the off color jokes at home. You will offend someone or everyone.
12. Plan to arrive earlier & check out the room ahead of time.
13. Greeting people ahead of time as they arrive will make make them feel welcome and make it easier to talk to them.
14. Believe it or not because you were bold enough to do this talk it will go much better than you imagine. Every time you talk you will gain experience & skills.
15 Join a toastmaster club & polish your skills with like minded people. Remember: You can overcome the fear of public speaking.
Author of this article Darryl Van Kirk has been self employed the majority of his life and working from home 9 of the last 10 years. One of his current projects is the web site resource: start-a-work-at-home-business.com His newest business is Discount Grocery and More [http://www.discountgroceryandmore.com/index.html] A Discount Grocery Store in Johnson City, Tn. He is also involved in other home based business ventures.