Public speaking is a useful skill that everyone should possess to a reliable extent. It’s a skill that is easy to learn, but not as easy to practice for most.
Many people feel nervous when speaking in front of a crowd, especially if English isn’t their first language. They are afraid that they will make some sort of mistake in their speech; or perhaps there will be a problem with the PowerPoint presentation behind them. These problems can be setbacks, but neither of them can ruin a public speech.
Here are the secrets to public speaking in English:
Stop caring. Who cares what other people think of you? “But Ian, this speech will be made in front of my whole company. If I make a mistake, it will affect my career!” No, it won’t. At least not much. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone knows and understands this simple fact of life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It makes you human, and in some cases may make you more likable. Besides, everyone knows English isn’t your native language.
Speak with gusto. English is a language that comes from the chest. How confident are you in the topic you are speaking about? The volume and projection you use during your speech should reflect your confidence level. If you’re very confident in a topic, then speak with great power and enthusiasm. If you’re only somewhat confident, then speak with a slightly less aggressive tone.
Have a native speaker proofread your speech if you have it written down. This will help you avoid tense usage errors, irregular verb errors, etc. If you don’t have a native English speaking friend, there are plenty of freelancers who will proofread it for you for a small fee.
So there you have it. If you have to make a presentation in English, follow these steps and you’ll be golden.