How to Prepare for a Speaking Job

For many, a job involving public speaking does not come as second nature – some individuals find the prospect terrifying. Fear of speaking in front of an assembly of people is a real threat to the career prospects for some. However, it’s often an unavoidable part of a job, so it’s worth getting to grips with any anxiety you may have.

Use Your Fear

Yes, public speaking can be scary. It is entirely natural to be scared of audience reaction – to fear you may end up saying something utterly stupid and to worry about pressure to abandon an argument

In preparation for a speaking job, it is important to focus on channelling the adrenaline from your fear and turning this driving force into something useful – energy to keep motivated and convincing.

Know Your Topic

It is crucial to become familiar with and know the specific requirements of the audience to which you will be addressing your speech. Thorough knowledge of the material to be presented is a must. Arrange all salient points in a logical, easy-to-follow sequence, tailored in such a way as to captivate your attendees’ attention and thus making it worth their time.

Practise, Practise, Practise!

To speak convincingly, you need to practise, to the point where the speech become almost second nature. As a result, you will be sufficiently comfortable and at ease with its delivery.

This can be achieved through continuously rehearsing at home, or somewhere you feel comfortable, in front of a mirror and recording yourself delivering the speech. You can then and then analyse its play-back until you reach a speed and tempo that is convincing and engaging. Through this analysis, you can figure out what needs more work, so as to increase the strength of the message of your speech.

Stay Calm

Focus on being relaxed and as poised as possible, to impart a confident and enthusiastic feel to your crowd. To help achieve this, work on the clarity of delivery of your speech, and show the appropriate degree of emotion for the topic you are discussing.

Body language speaks volumes, which is why it is more advisable to stand and move about, all the while using appropriate gestures and facial expressions, rather than staying fixed stiffly in one spot. How you communicate with your body will contribute to the relationship you build with your audience.

Props or Not?

The use of props and audio-visual aids can enhance the delivery of your speech, which is why it is important to become very familiar with any presentational software before you deliver the speech, and also to ensure that all props are in working order beforehand.

However, while audio-visual aids prove handy and useful tools, beware not to go overboard with your use of them – you don’t want to risk overwhelming your audience.

And Finally . . .

Your speech should end in a convincing tone, summarising the main points of the presentation, with a punch line that will leave a positive impression on your audience.