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Do some breathing exercises, they really do help to relieve tension and ease nervousness. Breath in slowly, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Do this a couple of times. It will help to clear your mind and centre your thoughts. Trust me, it really does help.
Visualise yourself speaking, that you are confident and assured, with a clear voice. Get yourself into the mind set that you will succeed. Your audience want you to succeed; they want to hear what you have to say.
Use good posture, sit or stand up straight, don't fiddle with your hands or other objects, avoid nervous gestures. Look people in the eye, slowly look around the room. Add emphasis to different points by modulating your voice. You want to keep peoples attention.
Decide on whether you wish to use cue cards, if you want to use presentation materials, such as PowerPoint or an overhead projector. Practice using your chosen medium.
Remember that the more experience you gain in public speaking, the more confidence you will gain. It’s like any exercise, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So get your public speaking muscles in shape!
As Alexander Gregg said, “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience”.
Whether you are speaking at Conference and Meeting Venues or at your daughter's wedding if you follow the above it should help make it a less traumatic experience.
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