There are dozens of people who have difficulty speaking in public. You may think that it is easy but it really can be a very difficult thing. Especially for someone who is a little on the timid and shy side. However there are several things that you can do in order to become a better speaker. Following are a list of suggestions that you may find useful in accomplishing this task.
1. Take the time to practice in front of an audience. Why not use your friends and family as your mock audience. Even your spouse would be a good audience. They will be able to point out areas that you should work on in your speaking technique.
2. Try not to stick to your notes. The one thing that people hate is when someone is glued constantly to their notes. If you take the time to become familiar with your topic then you should have no problem speaking freely about it.
3. Work on audience contact. More than likely you will have friends and family members in the audience when you speak. Try to focus on one of them, and speak directly to them, just as you did when you practiced. Not only will this help you to relax, but audience contact will help you to get your point across, and show that you have confidence in your speaking ability.
4. Be on time. Be sure to arrive at least twenty minutes before you are scheduled to go on. If you are late then you will not have any time to relax and prepare yourself for your presentation. If you arrive late you will be rushing and that will only end up making your more nervous. This will also allow you time to stand in the area you will be speaking from and possibly have a practice run, before you begin and everyone arrives.
5. Try some relaxation exercises. There are many techniques that you can try in order to relax yourself, such as breathing exercises, or some people choose to just sit and review their notes and relax a bit before they go on.
6. Make sure you eat something. Due to nervousness you will probably not feel like eating. But try to force yourself to eat a little something. Even if it is a piece of fruit. Talking on an empty stomach will only make you more nervous. Why? Because once your stomach starts growling you will begin to focus more on that and less on your speech.
If you take the time to apply some of the suggestions that are listed above you may find public speaking to be a lot easier than you first thought it would be. Remember that your being nervous is all a mental state. Try not to be so focused on what others will think about you. Have confidence in yourself and your topic and that will show when you begin to speak. Last but not least, do not be upset if you make a mistake, like stumbling over a few words. That is something that happens, just excuse yourself and continue on. If the information you have on the topic is good, and well researched people will be more interested in what you are speaking about and will not focus on a few words getting mixed up. Eventually the more public speaking you do the better you will become.