CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – APRIL 9, 2021
PUBLIC SPEAKING TIPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
If you’re like most college students, then you probably don’t have a whole lot of public speaking experience under your belt. And a lack of experience means you likely feel mighty anxious about the prospect of presenting. First, know that this is totally normal. In fact, even the most seasoned presenters in the game feel a healthy amount of anxiety before a talk. But those who are brand new to it tend to feel it the most.
The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to minimize your nerves and maximize the quality of your presentation. The following tips are designed to make you feel better, look better and, most importantly, ensure you crush your next presentation with confidence and grace.
Make Plenty of Eye Contact
If you’ve ever been to a presentation where the speaker’s face was buried in their notes the whole time, then you know how painful that is to watch and listen to. According to research, making eye contact helps your audience retain the information you’re sharing in addition to making you seem more credible and trustworthy. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t look at your notes; just take care to absorb them in quick glances rather than spend your whole talk buried in them.
Take Your Time
One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is speeding through a presentation. Not only does this make it pretty clear to your audience that you’re nervous, but it also makes it really tough for them to digest the information you’re sharing. Therefore, make sure to slow your pace and take your time. Pausing for a drink of water, taking audience questions, and even cracking a joke or two are great ways to slow your pace and have a better command of the room and your message.
Don’t Just Practice; Rehearse
If you want to make sure you deliver an effective, confident presentation, then it’s not enough to know your content; you have to rehearse it. Studies show that your message’s delivery is even more important to giving a great presentation than the message itself. So, be sure to carve time out to run through your presentation as though you’re doing the real deal. When you do it, pay attention to places where you can use your tone to emphasize important points, pause for suspense, and solicit audience questions.
Give Love to Your Visual Aids
Your visual aids should never be an afterthought. Thoughtful, well-designed visuals paint a clearer picture of your topic while making your presentation as a whole much more engaging. Plus, they’re a great reference point for you. If you ever find yourself getting stuck on stage with nothing to say, your thoughtful visuals can serve as an information guide so that you’ll never be at a loss for words.
Minimize Nerves With More Preparation
Speaking of never being at a loss for words, our anxiety has a way of making us fumble on the word front and forget what we want to say altogether. It’s easy to avoid things we’re nervous about, but the more practiced and prepared you are, the less anxiety you’ll have. If you push through that avoidance and make yourself thoroughly practice, you’ll be amazed how much more relaxed and confident you feel and look to your audience.