Make eye contact. If it is too overwhelming to try and make eye contact with everyone in the room, then before you begin keep in mind you you might connect to in the room. Try to spread them throughout the room so that as you slowly scan between those people, you look like you’re making eye contact with everyone.
If you’re shaking then hold something. It happens to even the most seasoned public speaker. You get to the podeum and your hands begin to shake. As you are laying out your notes, or gathering your thoughts, grab hold of the podium. If there is not a podium, take your pen or pencil with you so you can hold that. You would be amazed how it will help you keep your focus.
- Be Prepared. You don’t need a reminder to practice your speech, that is a given. But if you are presenting in an open environment, where there will be questions and answers, then you must try and anticipate what those questions might be so you can have answers ready.
- Try to eliminate your “Um”s, “Uh”s, and other pregnant pauses. If you happen to lose your step in your notes, or something else happens to throw you off your focus, then it is alright to stand there silently for a brief moment. The last thing you, um, want to sound uhhh like, is a teenage girl hanging out at the mall.
- Smile! If you don’t look comfortable up there, your audience will feel that. They will grow anxious for you, and miss the message of your speech. If you relax a little, take a deep breath and smile from time to time. You will be far better received by the group, regardless of the size.