Did you know that most people are afraid to give a speech in front of others? It is not the kind of talk you give on the table at a family gathering, but rather a presentation of a new product that you are showing to an important customer; or when you are speaking in front of the board of directors about the new fiscal year.

It is not surprising why you may feel more nervous in these situations and why you may fear the experience. However, it should be noted that the significance of such events dramatically increases the need for public speaking skills. They have become one of the most valued skills in today’s business environment. You will do well to improve as much as possible in that area. Here are ten tips in that regard, which can help you tremendously:

Accept your nervousness – Understand that even the most experienced speakers get nervous before a speech. No matter how much you know about the topic and the audience, you will always feel uncomfortable. There’s no getting around your nerves, as public speaking is no small feat to overcome. What you can do is embrace your nervousness and turn it into energy to cope with the speech.

Preparation and Practice: While it is true that no amount of practice and preparation can make you 100% confident in your abilities, you should not underestimate the importance of these activities. There is nothing else that can help you improve and impact your audience more. Always know what you are about to say to your audience and why you are going to say it. Speak in front of a small, controlled audience first and ask for feedback on your performance. Here’s how you get better at public speaking.

Do not forget to breathe: before going in front of everyone and during the speech itself, take a deep breath. Fill your belly completely through your nose and exhale silently. Being nervous can cause you to get out of breath pretty quickly, which only makes introductions more difficult. Being more mindful of your breath is a sure recipe for success, which can also help you overcome the nerves of speech.

Focus on your audience: One of the root causes of stage fright is concern for yourself. The more you think about yourself and how you are doing, the less you will focus on the audience. It should be otherwise. These people are there for a reason. You should not think about how you are doing, but ask if they need clarification and if they can listen to you. Connect with them and get to know them.

Be confident: don’t tell people that your palms are sweating and your heart is racing; they won’t know. Exude confidence and you will feel better about the situation as well.

These are all the perfect tips, if you are looking to become a more confident speaker. Pay attention to all of them and you will find that public speaking is not so scary.

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