How to Overcome Problems when Speaking in Public

“Envision the audience in their underwear…” No doubt most people have heard this common advice given to overcome one of the very important obstacles in public speaking nerves. But really, there are several obstacles that can affect public speaking. Nerves are probably the most common, but along with nerves, there is speaking volume, allowing for distractions, proper pausing, proper voice inflection and proper pronunciation and enunciation.  This article will address these common problems that everyday people encounter when facing the challenge of public speaking.

First of all is nerves. Honestly, some of the other points discussed may take care of themselves once your nerves are under control.  What are some of these ways to bring one’s nerves under control?  Well, as described in the first sentence, picture the audience in their underwear. No, that’s not a joke.  We call it nerves, but nerves are fear, so if a person can find a way to face those fears through visualization, they may just be able to get there nerves under control.

Second, when speaking in public, a person needs to learn to allow for distractions.  Whether they are from small children, unwanted conversation, someone coughing or sneezing, whatever may be the case, there are two ways of handling the interruption.  The first way is to pause for the distraction the second way is to adjust your volume to speak over the distraction.  By not addressing the problem at all, you risk the chance of losing your audience.

Third is speaking volume. it’s always important to make sure that that your audience can hear you especially when there is no microphone.  But it is just as important not to overpower your audience when there is a microphone.

Fourth is proper voice inflection, which can also add weight to a statement the speaker has made. In addition it also adds feeling and personality which can keep the speaker from becoming disconnected from their audience.

Finally, there is pronunciation and enunciation.  It goes without saying that if a speaker can’t pronounce words correctly or slurs and runs them together, he or she will quickly lose the respect of the audience and appear as unprofessional.  That’s why it’s better to simplify your words rather than pronounce them wrongly.

Keep these five points in mind the next time you speak in public to keep your audience listening and engaged.