Presenting in front of an audience can be very scary. This common form of anxiety gets in the way of professional development for many speakers, especially those who are not native. In order to alleviate this fear, there are six steps you can take to make your experience more positive and move ahead in any setting.
Once you know the topic of your speech, whether you are asking your boss for a raise or pitching your startup idea, it’s best to collect and write your ideas down to organize and give yourself time to get familiar with the topic.
2. Engage your audience with a story
When you present a topic that is close to our heart, it’s wonderful to share a story that people can relate to and one that helps to get your point across. Everyone likes a good story!
3. Practice and verbalize
Have your speech notes with you everywhere you go. Go over your presentation in front of a mirror, in your car when waiting at a stop light, and when you feel more comfortable, do so with a friend. Take note of phrases and words that are difficult to pronounce, so you can give those extra time and attention.
4. Keep it brief
The reason is because most audiences get easily distracted and tend to tune out if a speaker gets off on long tangents. Stay on point and move through your presentation in a methodical way. One rule that is popular in the business circles when using a slide deck is to not exceed twelve slides.
5. Act like a pro
Move around, use a variety of hand gestures, and make eye contact to come across as more connected and natural. Be bold and confident when delivering your points. Don’t rush, pause between sentences and remember to breathe.
6. Get help with your language
Download the SpeakingFit app to receive personal assistance on the go. The app helps you improve your speech and pronunciation of English words. Depending on your level, you can focus on practicing whole sentences or polishing nuances, such as intonations and correct tongue positions. The app has a variety of customization tools, from recording yourself and comparing your delivery to that of native speakers, to receiving personalized feedback.
The basic version of the app is free. Try it today, apply the points above and watch as your anxiety subsides, confidence rises and you begin to look forward to your presentations. But don’t take our word for it, see what our users have to say:
“I have become more confident in speaking in English thanks to this app. It feels like the world has expanded.” Miki, Japan
“Since I started using the app, my tongue has become a little bit more agile and can make the movements required to create the sounds that I use in English.” Yareth, Mexico