For PR pros, getting cold feet before speaking in public can get them in the hot water. You may have written a terrific speech or prepared some great talking points to present to the media/business partners or other stakeholders, but a beautifully written speech or detailed PowerPoint presentation won’t do you any good if you suffer from stage fright and fail to make your speech memorable for the audience.
With that in mind, here are four tips for overcoming public speaking anxiety, compliments of Kraig Kann, chief communications officer for the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association).
- Your material. Know your material cold and don’t leave anything to chance. Rehearse the text several times but don’t overdo it—you don't want to sound too scripted.
- Your audience. Who are they? What does it expect? Have you spoken in front of the same audience previously? What gets the audience excited?
- Your time frame. How long are you expected to speak? Will there be time for a Q&A? Will the audience be encouraged to ask impromptu questions after a formal Q&A?
- Your intended outcome. What are you hoping to achieve through your speech? What are the most important points you want to leave with the audience? What’s the best way to leave the audience with a positive outlook about what it just heard?
What else would you add to the list?
Follow Kraig Kann on Twitter: @KraigKann
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1