How to get good at public speaking

30986329_MDid you know that public speaking is one of America’s biggest sources of anxiety? For many people, public speaking can be terrifying. Yet public speaking is a valuable skill that can help you develop your personal brand. Here are some great suggestions from the Mayo Clinic and other sites for conquering a fear of speaking in public:

  • Speak on topics you know well. Make a presentation on a topic or issue that’s dear to you or one that you know well.
  • Start small. Begin by performing for small groups, such as family, friends or colleagues.
  • Prepare well. Practice your presentation many times. If possible, visit the site where you’ll be giving your speech or presentation. Think about possible questions the audience may ask.
  • Think about success. Don’t give in to negative self-talk. Visualize your success. With time, anyone can learn to speak in public.
  • Don’t memorize. When you’ve memorized your talk, you’re tempted to rush and to speak in a monotone fashion. Perhaps you can memorize your main bullet points, but then speak extemporaneously on those.
  • Get help. Join a speaking group, attend a public speaking seminar or enlist the help of a veteran public speaker. You’ll soon realize there’s nothing to fear!
  • Practice. Practice. Practice. Nothing will help you get good at public speaking like … public speaking!