10 good public speaking tips from Psychology Today:
1. For many speakers — and especially for introverts — preparation is key. Take your time crafting the speech so that it flows logically and is illustrated with stories and examples. Practice it out loud, until you’re comfortable. If it’s an important speech, videotape yourself. The main reason public speaking can be uncomfortable is that you have no idea how you’re coming across. If you went to a job interview without fixing your tie or applying your lipstick in front of the mirror, you would hope that there’s no scarlet lip gloss smeared across your teeth, but how could you know for sure? Better to take the guesswork out of it.
2. Think about what your particular audience wants to hear. Are they craving new information? Insights? What problem do they hope to solve? Give them what they want and need.
3. If you haven’t spoken publicly in a while and feel rusty, watch videos of speakers that have shots taken from the speaker’s vantage point, where you can see what it’s like to face the audience. (Many TED talks have these shots.) As you watch, pretend you’re the speaker. Get used to what it feels like to have all eyes on you.
4. Similarly, if you can, visit the room where you’ll be speaking. Practice standing at the podium, looking out into the rows of seats.
5. When you listen to a great speaker or hear someone mention one, get a transcript of the speech. Study it. How was it constructed? What kind of opening and closing were used? How were examples presented? How did the speaker engage, inspire and educate the audience? Most people are not born great orators. They study, and practice.
While fear pervades many aspects of business, presentations consistently drive it to exquisitely high levels. We use the term “presentation” to include any important one-on-one meeting, small group discussions around a table, or speaking before an audience of thousands.
We are talking about a particular kind of fear. Some fear helps motivate you to divert time from the pounding surf of your daily schedule and prepare for your presentation. There comes a point for most of us, however, when the fear is no longer useful. It has crossed the line from excitement to dread. Instead of driving preparation, it now impairs concentration and kills energy.
Read the full article: The Fear Factor: Mastering the Fear of Public Speaking, Part I