For many, standing up in front of a crowd of onlookers and making a speech is the stuff of nightmares.
Those with a fear of public speaking will be familiar with sweaty palms, a racing heart, and the dry throat that accompany the thought of talking in front of a crowd.
But good oration skills, and the ability to speak well in public, is one of the most valuable skills you can learn to advance yourself through education and employment.
And, the great news is, it’s something that can be practiced. There are many tips and tricks that can help even the shyest public speaker overcome their nervousness and win over any crowd they face.
Understanding basic principles
Before diving into practicing your orator skills, it’s important to get to grips with exactly what is public speaking.
For a student in university looking to improve their debating skills alongside getting their diploma, there are many essay examples to be found online which offer an overview of how to create powerful argumentation.
Reading a well-written paper or book on public speaking and rhetoric is a great first step towards becoming a talented public speaker. All good practice comes with theory!
There are many rhetorical tools that successful debaters use when crafting their argument that encourage active listening and agreement from their audience.
The most basic principle of public speaking and argumentation is to engage your audience, create a coherent point, and ultimately leave your audience in agreement with you.
When preparing a public address, it’s crucial to have a solid grip on exactly the point you’re trying to make.
Putting together a successful argument requires creating a solid thesis around which to structure the rest of your argument. Once you have solidified your thesis statement, look for strong, logical arguments to back it up.
The key to writing a good preparation for a debate is to consider the potential counter-arguments that could be made against your point. Putting yourself in the shoes of the opposition is a great way to search for flaws or gaps in your own argumentation.
When preparing for a public debate, creating a list of “for” and “against” arguments for your thesis also helps to develop a clear understanding of the points you have to make and the potential counter-arguments you will have to refute.
After preparing and outlining your arguments, comes the time to turn those words on paper into a public performance. Before jumping up on stage in front of a crowd, it helps to rehearse and get comfortable speaking aloud in a more intimate setting.
Speaking in front of a mirror is a great way to overcome those initial nerves and gives you a great opportunity to observe the nuances of your delivery and body language.
Watching your reflection for small yet important details such as posture and hand gestures will ensure that you feel more confident when it comes to performing in front of others.
Once you’re comfortable speaking into a mirror, it helps to practice your delivery in front of people you trust and feel relaxed with. You know that close friends and family are not going to judge you based on your performance, and with them, you can develop a safe space in which to practice.
When the time comes to perform publicly in front of peers or strangers, you can think back to how easy it was to perform for your close friends and try to emulate that sense of confidence!
Embrace the nerves and you’re ready to go!
Once you’ve prepared and practiced to a level that you’re satisfied with, there’s nothing left to do but stand up and make your voice heard!
It’s important to remember that feeling nervous before public speaking is totally natural, and your body’s way of giving you the adrenaline to help you succeed.
Embracing the nerves and channeling them into a passionate delivery is the secret behind any great orator! With preparation, practice, and self-belief, you can make an argument that will be sure to win any audience over.