Whether you’re doing a presentation or running for student president, public speaking can be a big part of the uni experience! But the idea of public speaking is something that psyches a lot of students out – even with the good old ‘imagine your audience in their underwear’ trick.
If you can overcome the fear, the benefits of public speaking for students are huge – especially as you venture into the world of work. Want to avoid stage fright? Check out some of our top tips for public speaking!
Tips for public speaking for students
- Write everything out
- Do your research
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
- Wear something comfortable
- Get your audience involved
- Embrace your nerves
Write everything out
Unless you’re extremely gifted at thinking of things on the spot, write down everything you plan to speak about. Even if you don’t plan to say everything you’ve written down, a speech outline is essential to ensure you stay on the right track. At the same time, avoid reading everything from a script!
Do your research
You might be an expert at waffling, but your speech should show that you know what you’re talking about. Hit the books, and you’ll have all the confidence needed to power through.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
So you’ve done your research and written your speech out in its entirety. Surely that means you’re good to go, right? Well, not quite – next you need to practice until you’re confident enough to read your speech out loud! Practice until you can memorise the key parts of your speech, and ask a friend or family member for feedback on your performance!
Wear something comfortable
Public speaking is all about confidence. One way you can feel more confident is by dressing in clothes that make you feel as comfortable as possible. This doesn’t mean you should roll up in your dressing gown, but dressing sharp will make a big difference to how you feel onstage!
Get your audience involved
Speaking at length on your own can feel a bit intimidating, so why not let the audience get involved too? As well as giving you a small break, posing questions or asking for a show of hands in response to something will help your audience feel more engaged!
Nervous ahead of your public speech? Smile your nerves away! Going in with a smile is proven to boost your mood and help you relax, as well as making you look more confident (even if you’re a bundle of nerves on the inside). Even if you stumble over a word, a smile will show that you are always in control.
You can write the most amazing speech in the world, but it won’t hit home the same without a strong finish. Wrap your speech up by tying back into your intro, and decide what message you want your audience to take away. Make your last words resonate with your audience, and they won’t forget your speech in a hurry!
Need a space to rehearse your speech at uni? Every Student’s affordable student rooms come with common rooms and cozy shared spaces for you to practice in front of your friends. Find out more about our rooms here!