One key skill every public relations professional should master is public speaking. Whether it’s on a conference call or presenting in front of a client, feeling comfortable while speaking to a large group is huge part of our job development. This week I’ve been tasked to present new concepts to a client in a formal setting. This won’t be the first time, but it’s a good reminder for me to brush up on my public speaking skills. Here’s some advice on how I get myself through.
- Address every question. Make sure you know the material you are presenting inside and out so you feel comfortable speaking about what you are presenting.
- Practice. Rehearse what you plan on saying in your head as many times as possible. Catch yourself when you forget something and continue to repeat your thoughts until you’re happy with the outcome.
- Be personable. Keep the audience engaged and don’t be afraid to throw your personality into the presentation. No one enjoys sitting and listening to rehearsed messages from a robot.
- Limited text on slides and no notes. Yes, this may seem crazy at first, but it forces you to be more personable and sound more confident.
- Don’t over think it. I tend to over think these presentation too often. The more I over think, the more I psych myself out. Sometimes it’s best to just take a deep breath and trust your instinct that the presentation will go well. That way you can focus on other work that needs to be completed that day.
- Embrace these experiences. As we all know, practice makes perfect. The more public speaking opportunities you have, the better you will become.
How do you overcome the public speaking jitters?