It is almost impossible for one to go through his or her adult life without having been asked to speak in public at least once.
You might have proposed a toast to a wedding, or reported in front of a class. At work, you could have done an oral presentation for a promotion. Or you could have faced a group of interviewers before you actually got hired for the job that you now have.
All of these and more would require a person to get up and speak out in front of a number of people.
This can either be a good or a bad experience for the speaker.
In the United States, studies show that public speaking is one of the most common fear that Americans have.
How do we eliminate this widespread public speaking anxiety?
The key is to face your fear, master your material, and rehearse.
Here are some helpful tips on how you can use rehearsing to eliminate the fear of speaking in public:
1. Know your material.
Prepare an outline of your speech and look for bits of information which could be a major point of interest.
Read about every aspect of the topic so that it will not be difficult for you to answer unexpected questions should they come up through the course of your discussion.
2. Have a “dress rehearsal” before the big day.
If you are making a formal presentation in a particular place, go to the venue a day ahead or several hours before the presentation to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
If there is a rostrum, stand in front of it and test the height. Make the necessary adjustments so that the audience will have a clear view of you as a speaker.
This is also a good time to check out the equipment that you need to proceed with your presentation.
Create charts and photos for a slide presentation to make your presentation more informative and interesting.
Time is also important so you can have a run-through of the entire speech and record your voice while doing so. This would give you anidea of how long it will run. The recording will also reveal the focal points where you can vary your tone of voice for a more lively speech.
It is also a great idea to tape yourself or have somebody do it for you while you are rehearsing your actual speech.
Review the video and look for ways to improve your overall presentation.
Practice makes perfect, so it is very important to rehearse before giving out that all-important oral presentation and help you reduce your public speaking anxiety.