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To many, public speaking is an incredibly fearful thought. To some it comes easily. To most there are at least some butterflies that will flutter before having to get up in front of even a small crowd. Thankfully there are a few small things we can do to better prepare ourselves for those occasions…
Remember, pausing to collect your thoughts is OK! The people we are speaking to have no idea what we are about to say. While a few second pause may feel like an eternity to us during our speech, to the audience member, it feels quite natural. Pausing allows us the opportunity to refocus. It also can add excitement and enthusiasm to our presentation.
Bring your notes. Yes, it is completely appropriate to have some sort of note cards, binder, or paper to help keep you focused. I have seen many speakers who were very effective whether they used notes or not. If this is something that you feel will help you to stay on track, then do it. Whatever it takes to get your point across to your audience.
Know your surroundings and equipment. If you are unfamiliar with the venue you will be speaking at, go early and check out your surroundings. Don’t be late or even on time, be early! If there are going to be unforeseen difficulties, you need to have time to correct them. Make sure if you are going to use equipment such as PowerPoint software or a projector that they work. Having working equipment and a well set up room will put you on an immediate path to success.
There are many more things that you can do to position yourself for greatness when speaking publicly. If you simply remember these three things to start, you will be well on your way!