A common issue new speakers have is what to do with your hands while speaking. For a start you don’t want to stand there with both of them by your side – you will appear as stiff as a board. Also you don’t want to have them waving around like a windmill either – it will be distracting. A natural stance is to leave one hand loose at your side and to bend the elbow and hold the other around your middle area. This will make it easier to use a full range of gestures to emphasis the point you are making. More on gestures soon.
More on nerves. To overcome nervousness you need to:
· be prepared, practice, keep calm, speak at a steady pace, engage your audience
· know your opening. This leads you in to the rest of your speech
· avoid panic if you lose your place. Audiences generally won’t know
· remember, most audiences are friendly and empathetic.
· try to introduce humour early on in your speech. A laugh will make you (and your audience) relax
Everyone gets nervous – even the professionals. Just accept it and it will actually work for you.
Although nerves are uncomfortable they are a source of energy that will keep you on your toes and
will stop you from making a flat, boring speech.