Most of us probably have had to give presentations, and some of us probably got nervous prior to presenting. I am not a public speaking expert, but I have done many presentations – most of them in a language other than my native tongue.
As an International Cultural Service Program scholarship recipient, I regularly present about my home, France, to local community members and students. The fact that English is not my first language does not worry me too much when it comes to these presentations because my audience already knows that English is not my first language.
When I give a presentation to an English-speaking audience who does not know that English is not my first language, I become nervous. Public speaking is a scary practice, but most public relations practitioners are often subject to public speaking opportunities. Whether it is an informal or a more formal presentation, being comfortable in front of an audience is an essential skill that public relations practitioners should polish.
In this post, I will share tips to overcome the fear of public speaking both from my own experiences and from the Public Speaking Tips website.
- Prepare, prepare and… prepare. A speech cannot be rehearsed enough. Practicing (if you get the opportunity) is essential. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be.
- Be conversational. Make each of your audience member feel like you are having a one on one conversation with them. Use eye contact to connect with your audience.
- Use well designed slides. I recently learned how slide design can enhance a presentation. Well designed slides make it easy for the audience to follow a presentation. Slides also help you remember what to say, and having support decreases the fear of public speaking
- Speak slowly. When we are nervous we tend to speak fast, so slow down… a lot. Speaking slowly will give you time to think about what to say next, so you can avoid filler words.
- Smile, be confident and never apologize for being nervous. Chances are your audience did not even notice your nervousness.
Remember that public speaking is a vital public relations skill and like most things, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.
Though I wonder, what do YOU do to relax before a presentation?
As a student, I have a list of companies that I dream to work for when I
grow-up graduate. Because of its outstanding products, ethical endeavors and community oriented philosophy, L’Oréal makes it to the top of my list.
This December, I reached out to L’Oréal, hoping for an informational interview; I had my eyes set on the communication leader position in Montreal, Canada. The position was to be filled as soon as possible, but I thought I could still give it a try. As I started networking, a representative told me to play the company’s marketing game REVEAL. I spent hours to finish the game by its initial deadline for Canada. The communication leader position that I had my eyes on was unfortunately filled, but through REVEAL, I learned more about my dream company.
As a three dimensional avatar in the game, you evolve in different areas of the company such as marketing, finance and business development. In each room, you solve problems and interact with coworkers. I wish the game had a communication or public relations room as I would have loved to launch a virtual public relations campaign or create special community events to build stronger relationships between L’Oréal and its publics.
Using a marketing game to select the right candidate for a job seems to be a great strategy for employers. L’Oréal receives hundreds of applications each day. Creating a game that assesses candidates’ potential and skills saves the company a lot of time.
Reveal educates people about the company’s philosophy, and playing the game can either strengthen or weaken the desire for someone to work for the company.
There are many ducks in the pond looking for a career, and marketing games can be a great way to sort out applicants. Many of us are currently in the process of applying for jobs, and we should be prepared to play creatives games, take quizzes and always be on top of the game to secure an internship or full-time position.
As of today, I am ranked number eight in the U.S. Cycle one of the game ends today, and I hope to be noticed. I would be honored to work for L’Oréal one day.
Interning in college is a fabulous way to discover passions and get hands-on training. I dream of a public relations career in the fashion or beauty industry but need more experience in these areas; consequently, last fall, I introduced myself to Deluxe Fashion Shop’s owner and asked if she needed public relations and event planning help. Shortly after, I became Deluxe’s (lucky) Intern.
As an intern, I am responsible for various projects such as recruiting designers and models, finding sponsors, helping with the April fashion shows’ organization, and maintaining the Facebook page.
Below is a sneak-peak of Deluxe’s treasures.
The store carries second-hand clothes as well as locally designed garments. Everything from the shoes to the hair accessories is available at the store except for the black belt on the burgundy dress (it had Lindsey’s name written all over it).
College is the ideal time to learn, explore, discover and make mistakes, so just go for it: push doors and embrace endless opportunities.