Easing the Stress of Public Speaking

 
Photo credit: Eric Carriere

Photo credit: Eric Carriere

 
 

At one point or another, everyone has had a moment of nerves before speaking in front of a group of people. From giving a presentation, tackling a problem as a team, to sharing our ideas, we constantly find ourselves in situations in which communication and connection with others are key. However, as much as 75% of the population experiences anxiety around public speaking. But if public speaking is so common, why is it so stressful?

If you’ve ever thought about improving your communication skills, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” We can craft the perfect speech, but delivering it in front of people is easier said than done. If we’re not practicing how we deliver our speech, then we’re not harnessing all the power of our words. And if we don’t speak as well as we hoped, then our anxiety for the next presentation can become even higher.

Imagine if you could walk into the room without any clouds hanging over your head about your performance, with confidence that you will deliver your words crystal clear and leave a positive impression on your audience.

At Speeko, we believe that with practice over time, speaking without stress is within reach for everyone. We’ll guide you through the best ways to develop habits that will make public speaking an enjoyable experience.

1. Steady like a rock

Whether you’re passionate or nervous about a topic, your speaking pace is likely to get faster, making it more difficult for your audience to keep up. On the other hand, speaking too slowly might cause your audience to lose focus on what you’re saying. A consistent, steady pace in your speech helps listeners connect more with your content. 

Use the Speeko exercise “Table Topics” to track your vocal mileage as you practice speaking off-the-cuff about a random topic. 

2. Make it novel

Keep your audience’s attention intact by varying your pitch (the highs and lows in your tone) as you speak. If you change your pitch at different points in what you’re saying, then the audience will be hanging onto your every word. 

Use the Speeko exercise “Energetic Phrases” to practice saying words to make them sound more engaging.

3. Get Feedback

A popular exercise that great communicators use to mentally prepare for a presentation is to practice in front of an inanimate object like a rock or rubber duck. However, the downside to this tip is that a rock can’t give you any feedback on your delivery. With the Speeko app, you can practice, make mistakes, and get feedback on your speaking style without the pressure of another person’s presence.

4. Stay Motivated

It takes multiple rehearsals to build a habit, but practicing over and over again can sometimes feel like there’s no end in sight. Develop your speaking skills in bite-sized pieces so you can put your best foot forward, anywhere.

The Speeko app is full of lessons and public speaking exercises to help you build your confidence. Setting up a plan and incorporating it into your daily routine can make the challenge of communication successful and enjoyable. And if you can manage your anxieties and stress about public speaking, you’ll already be ahead of 75% of the crowd.

Download Speeko in the App Store to follow step-by-step speaking exercises.

By Amanda Wong