Public speaking can be enjoyable instead of stressful when you are properly prepared. These simple tips will help you nail your upcoming appearance:
Know your material. There is no substitute for knowing your subject matter. Make yourself an expert on the topic you are discussing. I research current news and events related to my speech. Type in your subject in Google Trends to see what related issues come up that you might not be aware of.
Anticipate questions. If you really have become a subject matter expert, this should be easy. If I am having trouble anticipating questions the audience might ask, then I go back to step one and review my material again.
Don’t write a script. When you know your material well, you can speak from the heart about it. Reading from a script will make you sound like an uninformed robot. I write bullet points of the key themes I want to get across as a reminder to myself, but never a full script.
Familiarize yourself with the venue. I always arrive at least an hour early to any appearance. Getting a feel for the room and sound system will make you more comfortable. This also gives you time to clear up any possible technical problems, like the projector not working with your laptop. Minimizing technical issues and being acquainted with the space will allow you to focus on your speech and avoid anxiety.
Enjoy it! You worked hard, now enjoy the opportunity to educate others on a topic you are passionate about!