Yo Kass answered
I've had to give a few public talks for work recently, and here are some tips I've picked up:
- Practice. A lot. The better you know what you're going to say, the easier it is to fall back on "auto-pilot" if you start getting nervous. This is especially important for the beginning of your talk. If you memorize what to say to kick things off, then you'll find it easier to improvise once you're in the flow of the speech.
- Body language is super important. Practice how you're going to stand, and what hand gestures you're going to make. Even if you're feeling nervous inside, being mindful of your body language means you can appear calm and collected even if you don't initially feel that way.
- Pause with purpose. If you look at how seasoned public speakers like Presidents talk when they're giving a speech, you'll notice they pause for longer and more often than they would in normal conversation. Regulating the speed of your speech is another way to take control of the moment. You'll appear confident, and your audience will listen to you more intently for it.