In your career, there are going to be many instances that pop up where you will need to speak to a group of people—sometimes at a moment’s notice. It’s important to be prepared so you can speak as confidently as possible when these situations arise. Whether for an interview or for a presentation in front of a room of executives, keep these public speaking tips in your back pocket as you move up in your career.
Practice, practice, practice
Whether you have a speech on the horizon or not, continually practicing your public speaking skills is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Family and friends will be more than happy to give you pointers, and, if not, practice with yourself in front of the mirror! You’ll thank yourself later.
You’ve practiced your public speaking, and now it’s time for the real thing. One thing that’s a sure sign of nervousness is talking too fast. Take pauses as you speak, especially after an important point is made.
Avoid filler words
We’ve all been there—unable to recall what to say next—so the immediate reaction is to fill the silence with “um.” This is another sign to your audience that you’re not confident in what you’re speaking about. Avoid using “um”, “like”, and other filler words in everyday conversation so when it’s time to public speak in front of a crowd, it’s second nature to dodge this bad habit.
It’s okay to smile! Coming across too stern and serious could easily create tension in the room. If you’re passionate about what you’re talking about, don’t be afraid to let it show.
Simplify as much as possible
Public speaking within your career isn’t the same as for a school project. While there are many takeaways from your time in the classroom, in the real world it’s about keeping it simple and to the point. Everyone’s day is busy, so try to be mindful of people’s time and tailor your presentation to be time-sensitive.