The Art of Public Speaking for Authors

We know for a fact that your heart sank when you saw the word “Public Speaking”. 

Alarm bells have been set off, and you’re trying your optimal best to convince your mind that reading this article to the end will help you in the long term.

But, check this out before you make your decision. 

Public Speaking will have a huge impact on your success as an author. And a simple Google search reveals that 77% of the population have some level of fear when it comes to public speaking. 

That’s 4 out of 5 people you know, and the fear is called Glossophobia.

Now, if you don’t want big success for yourself as a writer, you can stop reading. And if you’re the only one that suffers from the fear, you can stop reading here.

Still here??

No matter how virtual the world may seem to be, we still like to have physical contact with other human beings. For you, this means you’ll be asked to come forward at seminars, your Book Launch event, and at meetups with people that know you, to talk about what you penned in your book.

You don’t want them to label you as a fraud because of your “phobia”, do you?

You see, sweaty palms, shaky knees, excessive sweating, accelerated beating of the heart… are things we all experience (even the best of the bunch feel it), and it’s normal for you to feel because you’re not naturally built for this.

“Public Speaking is a skill, not a talent” – Marjorie L. North (Speech Pathologist & Lecturer at Harvard University)

The beamer of hope for you is that skills are built and learned, not accidentally gotten. So, here are some tips to help you build your public speaking skills.

1. Your nervousness is normal.

2. Don’t be robotic, be human with your notes.

3. Know & Put your audience first.

4. Utilize hand gestures to your advantage. Use it to show confidence.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice.

1. Your Nervousness is Normal

Understand that there’s no superhuman when it comes to speaking in front of many faces. 

We all feel jittery, and afraid of what the reaction of our audience might be. 

Don’t seek to totally eliminate this feeling of nervousness, but use it to positively give yourself an adrenaline boost.

Note that you don’t have to make it too obvious either. Just allow yourself to feel it, and continue with your talk.

2. Don’t be Robotic, Be Human with Your Notes

Use your notes as guides for your speaking engagement. Use it to document points that will guide what you speak, don’t use it as a full documentation of all you’ll say.

If you do the latter, you will kill your chances of connecting with your audience through gestures, eye contact and tonality.

3. Know and Put Your Audience First.

Speak & use words that your audience can understand. Tell stories that they can relate to. Make your research in them because, ultimately, you’re coming to talk to them, so, to get them to listen & connect with you, you have to say things that will catch and hold their attention.

Also, try to make visual connections with them while speaking, it will exude courage & confidence from you.

4. Utilize Hand Gestures to your Advantage

Use your hands to describe & gesticulate while talking.

It will boost how well your audience connects with you visually, and also portray you as an expert on what you’re speaking on.

It will eliminate any awkwardness from you as a speaker.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Record yourself doing a demo talk. Master your points. Use family members as your imagined audience, and speak before them regularly. 

Put in the work, and your work will get you out there.

Now, you’ll have realized that you have the ability to vastly improve your public speaking skills if you put the techniques listed above to work.

Remember that it’s okay to be afraid before mounting the stage, use your notes as a guidepost, make your audience the focus of your talk, use your body movement & hand gestures to command attention, and always practice hard to get better at this.

Share this post to someone you know or love that it can be of help to.

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