Not everyone is a born speaker, but at one point in our career or life, we may be called to speak in front of an audience. Here are some steps to take in order to lessen your fear of speaking.
1) Make a Research.
Communicate with the key participants to inquire about their expectations from your presentation. Ask about what they would like to learn from it, the knowledge they have about the topic, and how your presentation can help them. With these conversations, you can get ideas for your presentation. It also helps to understand what people need, so that you will be able to deliver it. Take it like gathering the answers to an exam prior to taking it.
An outline is a highly valuable tool when making a presentation. Draft an outline and organize your content by using key words for each paragraph (particularly the opening and close). Then practice your speech, until you can do it without depending on your script, with a fluent delivery like that of conversational speaking. Do not attempt to memorize the script. That will make things too unnatural and complicated. Practice your speech any time at any place. For example, you may speak parts of it while driving, jogging, taking a shower, or working on chores.
Rehearse your presentation in front of a group of friends, colleagues, and with people who you think can give you constructive criticism. Ask for their suggestions on how you can improve your speech. You may also use this as a chance to familiarize yourself with the room and equipment that you will need, such as a microphone or a projector.
4) Be a good host.
Arrive ahead of schedule so that you will be able to meet and greet the audience before your presentation. Shake hands with them and thank them for coming. This is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself by engaging them in small talk. Treat them as valued guests such as those coming to your party. This turns them from strangers into acquaintances.
5) Anticipate Success
Visualize doing a fantastic job. Do not let nightmares exhaust your mind, you will only scare yourself. Be confident by expecting to perform well. Know that everybody wishes you to do a great job.
Preparation is the key to success. It helps you perform a job well and fills you with self-confidence.