6 Public Speaking Tips for Shy People

If having to give a presentation at work makes you feel a bit queasy, you might not be sick. Instead, you might be a bit shy. You, too, can become an effective speaker.

(Photo Credit: Victor1558 /Flickr)

  1. If you feel confident, you will come across as knowing what you are talking about. Take a few minutes to go over your material before a presentation. A little bit of preparation will give you a dose of confidence.
  2. Knowing what you are going to say will also help you relax. Being relaxed is an important component of effective communication. People will be more drawn to listen if you seem relaxed.
  3. Make eye contact when speaking to your boss and co-workers. You don't have to enter a staring contest, but do avoid bowing your head a lot or looking away.
  4. Use gestures to help you communicate. Sometimes, shy people's voices become more quiet or even shaky. Gestures are non-verbal communication and using them helps you get your message across.
  5. Use a warm tone of voice. According to Psychology Today, a warm and supportive voice used in business communication is the sign of transformational leadership. A warm tone of voice generates satisfaction, commitment, and cooperation between other members of the team.
  6. Brevity is your friend. Effective speakers use fewer words to get their message across. People are unlikely to get bored or stop listening if you keep can explain things in a concise fashion.

Tell Us What You Think

Are you shy? How do you prepare for giving a presentation? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Mark Kyte 19 Nov

    Preparation is vital, it helps you be clear on why you are speaking and what you are trying to achieve. 

    I also encourage my clients to get to the room early on the day of the presentation to get the "feel" of the room, and to meet the audience as they arrive. This simple act helps break the ice between a nervous presenter and his/her audience. 

    In my free public speaking course at the Public Speaking Skills University I teach a process the can be used to prepare a polished presentation and offer some deliver tips to help any speaker.

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