Tips on Public Speaking
Public speaking, you love or hate it. I still remember the first time I had to give a presentation with a microphone, and my hands were shaking the whole time! With practice, training, and even more practice I feel more comfortable each experience. Here are a few tips that will make you look polished and professional on stage:
What do I do with my hands?
-Be Natural: Relax your shoulders, elbows, and palms. Stiff, tight posture looks very unnatural and will stress you out even more. This will also make the audience uncomfortable when watching your speech.
-Visualize Numbers: If you are making three points, use hand gestures or fingers to align verbal and visual points. This is a great way to let the audience see what you are talking about.
-Open your Palms: It shows openness and transparency to the audience. It shows that you are willing to take in the audience so that they can take you in.
-Stay in Strike Zone: As defined by baseball, is the most natural area for you to show hand gestures during your presentations. To make a strong point you might use big hand gestures, but overall try to keep your hands and elbows close to you.
-Do Not Point: Pointing communicates aggression and will make your audience feel uncomfortable. If you want to direct the audience or bring their attention to an item, use open palm instead of pointing with a finger.
-Remember to Relax: Presentations are supposed to be fun, engaging, and mutually beneficial. To calm down last minute nervousness, try square breathing. Square Breathing is when you inhale for four slow counts, hold the inhale for four counts, exhale for four, and hold the exhale for four counts. A couple of minutes of Square Breathing can make you calmer, focused, and ready to smile and greet the audience.
Enjoy your message and your moment!