Monday, 3 may 2021 | Redacción CEU
Stage fright tends to materialize in the same way: a crowded audience with its attention focused on the speaker and a paralyzed speaker who is unable to pronounce words or who only seems to talk nonsense. This would be an awful or embarrassing situation for anyone, particularly if they occupy a leadership position. Nonetheless, are public speaking skills innate or can they be acquired? If you are not able to communicate well, will you ever have the opportunity to occupy a position of responsibility and be proud?
There are people who spontaneously talk about their projects and manage to excite and persuade the other person, or who can give an improvised speech to a big audience and win them over with their ideas. However, most people need to develop and work on the art of public speaking in order to master these skills, which, on the other hand, are highly valued in leaders. It is a detail that you should not be worried about. Public speaking is a skill that, like many others, can be learned, practiced and improved.
Hence if you feel awkward when it comes to speaking to an audience (regardless of whether it is big or small), occupy a position of responsibility (or are going to do so shortly) and you are afraid that you might be questioned about your poor public speaking skills, do not panic. Most people are in your situation, they start from scratch. Therefore, your great allies are the desire to learn, the perseverance and the passion that you put into achieving this goal.
Below, we offer a series of tips that may help you take your first steps to improve your speeches, presentations, talks and lectures:
Public speaking is easier when you…
• Know the topic you are going to talk about
The fear of speaking stems from insecurity. When you do not master a topic, it is logical for you to have doubts, hesitate and, consequently, you get nervous and make mistakes. Sometimes, it is not so important to know exactly the words you are going to use, but to know in depth the topic you are going to talk about. In case of losing the thread, you can always rely on your knowledge about the subject and thus feel more confident.
• Bet on naturalness
Do not just read. Relax and express yourself as you usually do (maintaining, of course, some composure). This will help calm your nerves. In addition, closed speeches are not credible and do not have as much impact on the public.
• Structure ideas and organize yourself
Having a good script helps even the most experienced speakers. The preparation of this type of speeches is important, especially when you do not have much experience speaking in public. On the other hand, spontaneity is not at odds with organization. You can always improvise and adapt the speech to each situation and moment, but you have to keep a clear structure in your head.