Public speaking is an extremely nerve racking time for most people. It is one of the most highly ranked activity for stressing people out. There are some basic fundamentals that will anyone give a better presentation.
Make brief notes of the things you want to mention during your speech. These are just cues for you to glance at while you are speaking. They are not meant to be read word for word.
Don’t write out your talks. Writing out a talk will make you sound unnatural. You will also rely on it and read it instead of making eye contact with your audience.
Never memorize a talk word for word. Again, if you memorize your talk word for word, you will sound unnatural. In addition, if you mess part of it up or draw a blank, you will not be able to move on and will fumble quite a bit. You want to speak about the topic in a natural way.
Fill your talk with illustrations and examples. Paint a picture for the audience to remember. Give concrete examples for the audience to hang onto instead of only talking at a high level. A good illustration or example will be more memorable than keeping everything abstract.
Know more about your subject than what you will use in the talk. If you try to say everything you know about a topic in one talk, you may run out of things to say. In addition, if you are asked questions, you may not be able to answer them. Prepare by knowing more than you could possibly use during the talk. You will sound more authoritative this way.
Rehearse your talk by talking to your friends. Go over the main points of your talk with your friends. Ask them to tell you what you do well, not what you could improve. You will already know where you felt weak, but may not realize where you were really strong.
Instead of worrying about your delivery, find ways to improve it. Take the things you do well and work on doing them better. You will get better at the things you don’t do well by concentrating on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative… which is all too easy to do.
Don’t imitate, just be yourself. You may want to try and imitate someone you think is a great speaker. However, if it’s not you, it’s not you and that will be apparent to your audience. If you’re not comfortable telling jokes, don’t do it. Just be yourself, the genuine article, and that will do wonders for your talk.