GSA leaders are often called upon to represent their clubs, sometimes in front of a large audience. Most people get nervous before they have to give a speech. This resource has some tips on how to prepare and set yourself up for success. Download it here.
- Know your material – Pick a topic that interests you, and have more to say about it than you include in your If you’re not excited about your message, your audience won’t get excited about it, either.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Rehearse out loud and in front of a mirror (I know it’s cliché, but it works!). If you’ll be using any audio/visual equipment, such as a microphone, practice with that equipment so it doesn’t feel unfamiliar.
- Know your audience – Greet people as they arrive, and strike up It’s easier to speak in front of friends than strangers.
- Know your venue – If you can, arrive early and get a feel for the Practice your speech on site.
- Be natural – Move around, use hand gestures, and speak But don’t rock back and forth or fidget; that demonstrates nervousness.
- Connect with your audience – Make eye contact with people, and try to get them to affirm what you’re saying with nods of the head and smiles. Don’t engage people in debates, however, as that will throw off the flow of your speech.
- Remember that your audience wants you to succeed – Audiences want you to be interesting and informative. They want to enjoy your speech, and are not rooting for you to fail.
- Don’t apologize – If you’re nervous, or if something goes wrong, don’t call attention to it. The audience probably didn’t notice.
- Concentrate on the message – It’s easy to get hung up on your own anxieties, or worry about how the audience will respond. But if you focus on the importance of what you’re saying, your speech will be stronger.
- Gain experience – The key to effective speaking is confidence, and the more you practice public speaking, the more you will feel comfortable doing it. Don’t shy away from opportunities to practice this skill!
Source: Toastmasters International