Abolish Glossophobia with These 3 Tips:

Did you know that Glossophobia, also known as the fear of public speaking affects about 75% of the population and is one of the most common human fears next to those afraid of snakes, spiders, and heights?

In the fast-paced world of public relations, you will speak in front of an audience whether it’s presenting a pitch to your client, or speaking to the public on behalf of them. When presenting, it’s important to have practiced effective public speaking methods so your audience views you as professional, credible, and persuasive.

In order to avoid an unsettling experience, here are 3 tips public relations professionals should master before speaking in front of an audience:

 1. Know Your Audience

For any speaking engagement, it’s important to effectively communicate your message in a way that develops a connection with your intended audience. When your audience feels connected to you, they’re more likely to be impacted by your words and more receptive to your message.

Forming a connection with your audience is simple. You can begin the process by talking to the event director (or whoever’s in charge) to ask for any available background information on your audience and solidify their expectations for your speech. For example, if you’re pitching a PR plan to a new client, they might be unaware of the specific services you offer. If you’re presenting your pitch to a current client, however, they’re likely familiar with you and your company therefore, a company introduction wouldn’t be necessary. Once you know what the audience desires to walk away with, altering your delivery to fit their needs will help to enhance your connection with them.

2. Paralanguage

Have you ever been in front of a dreadfully monotone speaker up at the podium, and all you can think about it how hungry you are, or how many Emails you must respond to once the presentation is over? Paralanguage helps speakers break through to an inattentive audience and is evaluated by their rate, tone, and pitch.

Rate refers to the speed in which you speak, the tone refers to the volume you speak at, and the pitch is the natural lowness or highness of your voice. When these three communication methods are used effectively to perfect your delivery, you convey emotion, confidence, and power throughout your entire presentation which results in your audience never reaching a state of boredom.

Effective use of paralanguage will improve your overall delivery. A change in cadence can help highlight specific points of your presentation, making them more memorable for your audience. For example, if the audience’s attention begins to slip, simply pause before emphasizing an important word or concept. Alternatively, if you want to emphasize your excitement, speeding up your cadence will adjust your tone and make what you’re saying sound more urgent and compelling.

3. Confidence

Unfortunately, no one can build your confidence for you. On the bright side, there are methods you can practice for building upon this strength to appear completely self-assured. Confidence, to your audience, indicates you’re knowledgeable about the topic you’re speaking about and can be trusted. To portray this, you must have practiced and prepared your delivery well in advance.

There are many ways to build upon your confidence in public speaking. Some practices to help you appear more confident include:

  • Rehearsing your message prior to make certain you catch minor errors before they appear in your live presentation
  • Simplifying your speech by cutting out extraneous language and getting right to the point to maintain your audience’s attention span
  • Practicing body language, like standing tall and making use of the space provided.

Final thoughts . . .

After practicing these tips, I hope you see an improvement in your public speaking abilities and your glossophobia will be a thing of the past. Do you have any tried and true tips for overcoming glossophobia or being a rock star at public speaking? I’d love to hear them! Let me know if the tips I’ve shared today worked for you or if there’s any that I missed by dropping me a line on Twitter at @val__murphy. Be sure to follow @CasterComm for even greater content and tips.

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