Speaking in public can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you have never done it before or if you have had a bad experience in the past. However, you can overcome your fear and speak in public with ease. Read on to discover 6 tips to help you speak in front of others with ease.

1. Prepare
Nothing is worse than getting in front of a group to speak and realizing you have not had enough preparation. While you don’t have to memorize what you are going to say, and you shouldn’t memorize anyway, knowing your content well will help you. Make sure to review your notes and go over what you are going to say until you are comfortable with the material.

2. Rehearse
While you need to rehearse on your own, it is also good to ask a group of trusted friends to let you practice in front of them. This will help you get used to speaking in front of a group without the intimidation factor of people you do not know. They can also give you some constructive criticism to help you make adjustments.

3. Avoid Using a Slideshow or Notes
It may be tempting to have notecards or a slideshow presentation to help you stay focused, but oftentimes you may wind up using these as a crutch and your speech suffers in the process. You want the audience’s focus to be on you and what you are saying.

4. Ask a Friend for Help
If possible, ask a friend to attend your speech. If not, then try to introduce yourself to a few people before the speech. Then, when you are speaking you can find that friend in the audience and focus on him or her. It can help to see a supportive face when you are nervous.

5. Slow Down and Breathe
Sometimes when you are nervous, you tend to speak faster and forget to breathe. This has the compounding effect of making you more nervous and things will only get worse. If you start to speed up or lose your breath, take a quick pause before starting back up. Just by reminding yourself to slow down and breathe, you will ease some of your tension.

6.Be Yourself
Do not try to model yourself after other speakers. Remember that you have something unique to say. The audience wants to hear your perspective. Let your personality shine through what you are saying and your speech will automatically be more interesting. Being yourself also has the added benefit of making you more comfortable. Your audience will respond better if you put yourself into the speech and make it personal.