Speaking in front of a large audience can be intimidating and a source of anguish even a few days before executing it.
For many people, the mere idea of exposing (themselves and their communication skills) to so many people is a terrible idea, which makes that the tremors and indecision in speaking take over his own body.
However, everything can be improved by learning, and so can the ability to give a good oral presentation. That is why below you can read a series of hints based on psychological principles which will help you to state your speech in the best possible way after using them several times.
Learn to speak in public the best way
The first thing to be clear about is that improving our ability to make an oral presentation is a process that takes days and weeks.
Being aware of this is important so that you don’t get frustrated at first. Second, keeping this in mind involves making a commitment not to avoid the kinds of situations one should have in public and to take the opportunity to practice.
1. Have at least a week in advance
The best way to prepare for a 45-10 minute oral presentation is to spend at least an hour a day preparing for it the week before, if not earlier. It is very important to spread the preparation over several days instead of using it most of the day before preparing it; not only because in this way it is possible to take more time than to devote to it in case of unforeseen eventsBut because knowing that you have several days in advance has a psychological effect of relative calm and security in yourself.
That is, during the first few hours we will not feel so much anxiety in case we notice that it is difficult for us to progress, and this this will make learning more fluid. When we reach the last days, which is the stage where the nerves emerge the most, we will do so knowing that we already have a long way to go, and this will allow us to be productive without stress being a waste of time. motivation. . the effort and attention in what we do.
2. Document well
Before we create the script of what we want to talk about, we need to be clear that we know what we are talking about and that there are no gaps in our knowledge.
To do this, we can help ourselves with a graphical representation that will allow us to know the degree of depth with which we know the subject well. To do this, we write in the center of a folio a series of elements or keywords that we consider to be the most important topics of the presentation. Then we draw a series of concentric circles around it, and we write other subtopics in it, around the one written above.
In this way, we will have an overview of the topics to be covered and the importance of each in the oral presentation. We can start by learning the essential subjects, to gradually document what is secondary or incidental.
In the last circle, we can write topics that we think are a bit related to what we’re going to talk about, but what we don’t need to know for the presentation. This way we will be notified and, if in the series of questions someone names them, we can have a ready answer in which we indicate in which books or sources the person who wants to know more about him can document.
3. Be clear on the main idea we want to convey
Oral presentations are more appealing if throughout their development there is an idea behind all of the subsections we divide the conference into. This idea does not have to be something like a moral; for example, if the presentation is to explain how we did our thesis, the main idea will simply be the thesis itself.
The important thing is not to deviate from the subject and to express directly what it consists of during the first 2 or 3 minutes of the oral presentation. This way, the backbone of the conference will be clear and the audience can contextualize what we are saying in the right way and without being confused by possible digressions.
4. Prepare the introduction first
Before we think about the structure that should have the speech, it is better if and first we have raised the first few minutes of it, in as much detail as possible. In this way, already we will have concentrated on the topic and it will be very easy for us to think about the sections of the conference and the order in which they should follow.
The goal we pursue when creating the introduction is to grab the audience’s attention while raising the issue of oral presentation. This is why we must avoid very technical introductions or which are based on dictionary definitions. It is best to start with a leading question or a short story.
5. Design the structure of the conference
In this step we will write several ordered titles that they express as directly as possible the sub-theme that will be dealt with in each section of the presentation. We will translate these topics into a detailed script of what we mean, and at the beginning we will work on each of them in a separate and orderly fashion, from closest from start to finish.
This is a phase of the oral presentation planning process that is of particular importance if what we want to communicate is relatively complex and needs to be addressed through different subsections, so spend all the time on it. You need it, as the difference between a clear message and a clear message depends a lot on the structure.
6. Links between subsections
This step is very simple, as it simply consists of having the different sections of the oral presentation cross-referenced to previous or subsequent sections. In this way, the public will better understand what we are talking about, see it as a whole in which the parts are linked to each other: “As we saw before …” “we will see this below …”, etc.
In short, knowing how to make a good oral presentation is knowing how to create a coherent speech that has its own entity, instead of being a sum of parts.
7. Check for any gaps and remaining parts
In this step we will compare what we have written with the graphical representation in which we have ordered the topics according to their importance, and we will see if the extension of each subsection and each row referenced to these topics corresponds to this order. This way we’ll see if we need to talk more about some things and less about others, and we can modify the script accordingly.
This step allows us to have an overview of the writing and to detect errors that a more detailed point of view did not allow us to detect.
8. Read aloud
This step can be the most boring, as it only involves reading the writing aloud several times. You should read it below, but you should also think about each of the subsections and only read the part that corresponds to them.
In this way, we will relate each subject to be treated to certain sentences and certain ways of making the speech turn. It is important to know, however, that the goal is not to memorize the text by making an effort to have every word engraved in our head; the goal is for our brain to get used to learning the command, not the exact content.
Know in which order the subsections go and the different simple ideas that are included in them it helps us remember what we are going to say better and express it more naturally, Without fear of not remembering exactly how a certain part was written. Each topic you talk about serves as a clue to which one is next.
However, and even if it sounds silly, it is also very important to read aloud, to hear yourself speak. In this way, our own voice will also be an element that will make the memory of the script richer and more complete.
9. Get a good rest the night before
We must arrive on the eve of the show knowing the script well. This way, we will only spend a little time reviewing, And we will be able to rest so that our body recovers and relaxes a little. In addition, it is very important to go to bed early to get enough sleep. Preparing soon for an oral presentation also means knowing how to manage the time needed to recharge your batteries.
10. Following a sequence of steps
When it comes to making the public speech, we need to focus on what we’re supposed to be saying at the stage of the conference we’re in and focus all of our attention on that. That means forget to try to remember the general scenario of the oral presentation at all times; this option would only distract us and generate anxiety, as our attention cannot be everywhere at once.
11. Know how to look at the public
It is important to watch the audience during the oral presentation, which does not mean watching the audience. Our attention should be focused on our speech and what we are saying right now, and nothing else. To do this, a good help is to play imagining that the people in the audience are puppets, or at least the audience in a very realistic video game. While that sounds a bit bad, the idea is to depersonalize the audience like psychopaths objectify others; in this case, think that they are not real people but some kind of components of a simulation.
It will help keep the nerves from being so intense. Later, when we have mastered the art of public speaking, we can do without this step.
12. Learn to live with the nerves
The last step is to embrace the idea that a little courage isn’t a problem. When we are nervous we think our tremors and tingling are very noticeable, but the truth is we are not, the distance from the audience and the clarity of our message make these little signs of nervousness automatically overlooked. , because all audience attention is much more focused on the content than we say (What they want to understand) than in the way we say it.