Let me guess: you’re more comfortable communicating by email or telephone than in person. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Speaking to large or small groups, to a camera or even one-on-one can be extremely intimidating for most people.

In our industry, the ability to communicate well orally is vital to one’s success. You never know when a client will ask you to prep them for a news interview, ask you to give a presentation or, wait for it… speak on camera on their behalf!

If the thought of public speaking scares the living day light out of you, luckily, there are many tips and tricks you can employ to send your glossophobia* running for the hills. Follow these public speaking tips and you’ll be captivating your audience like a pro in no time!

Memorize your opening and closing: Memorizing the beginning and ending of your presentation enables you to start and finish with confidence and ease; this and will take your mind off the fact you’re on camera or in front of an audience.

Identify what’s important: Select only the important facts or ideas that most effectively express your message as for the body of your speech. By picking specific talking points and reinforcing them, it will help your audience soak in your message and keep their minds from wandering, which could happen if you throw to many different messages at them. By maintaining your points and backing them up, you’ll come across as confident in what you’re saying.

Practice makes perfect: Once you know what you’ll be speaking about, practice your opening, talking points and closing until you’re comfortable. You won’t need to memorize your talking points word for word because YOU are the EXPERT presenting the material. Practice will also help with the memorization of your opening and closing.

Don’t be afraid of your audience: The majority of the time, your audience will want you to succeed and is eager to help you. If your audience doesn’t want to hear what you have to say, chances are they wouldn’t be there listening to you in the first place.

Public speaking isn’t easy for everyone. That being said, if you put in the time to prepare, have a strong opening, take a conversational approach and speak with passion, I promise you it’s going to go much better than you imagined!

*Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking