Are you terrified of speaking in public, even if the crowd consists of your own peers? Have you ever wondered how so many people are at ease with themselves when it comes to giving a public speech? While some of them are naturally comfortable while addressing a large audience, most attain mastery over the skills over a period of time to become comfortable at the art of public-speaking.

Speaking at events is a great way to garner PR for your business and to be seen as an expert in your field. When you refuse public speaking engagements, you hold yourself back from giving presentations and pitches, and this can have an adverse effect on your networking.

Here are five tips to help you become an effective public speaker.

Chat with audience members before your speech

Before entering the podium, make an effort to have an informal contact with the people you are supposed to address. It will help you gauge the mood, and prepare your address in accordance. This exercise aims to help you understand the tone you can take to strike a rapport with the public.

Focus on concepts

Avoid sounding over-rehearsed. Rather than memorizing the entire content of your presentation, understand the concept as this will help you develop the points even on an impromptu basis. It also takes away the fear of your mind going blank at any point during the presentation. Create bullet points of the key takeaways and speak naturally about them.

Calm your nerves

Instead of focusing on your speech, try to focus on your audience. When you shift the spotlight to the public, you persuade yourself to provide them with valuable information as eloquently as you can. Remember, if your audience leaves the venue with one or two valuable information, you have made your speech worth their while. Focus on servicing your audience, instead of yourself, and you’ll experience a sense of calm.

Interact with your audience

A good speaker is someone who can take public participation to a whole new level. So pause in the middle of your presentation to ask your audience if they have any questions. By this you can gauge how far they have followed you and how much they have understood. You can also ask your audience to repeat key messages back to you to keep them involved and help them remember the material.

Research your audience

Researching your audience should be an important part of preparing for your speech. If you tailor your speech to appeal to the audience, then you’ll be on point and can get them to respond to your ideas.

When you focus on making your speech conversational, you groom yourself to become an effective public speaker. If you follow the above mentioned tips, you’ll definitely leave your audience wanting for more.

Credit: yourstory.com