A great way to expand your resume is to avail yourself as a speaker and presenter. Whether it's for a company presentation, community outreach or a conference, acquiring the skills of a speaker is a plus in polishing your professional image.
Familiarity: Being completely familiar with your subject matter will take away a large chunk of public speaking anxiety. You have, of course, rehearsed, practiced and fine-tuned your presentation. Now reach a little further and research the latest trends and news about your topic. You don't want to be tripped up during the Q&A session.
Professionalism: No matter your audience, use proper grammar, don't mumble and stand up straight. In addition, be neutral in your manner and voice. This is especially true when presenting ideas that may be controversial. By maintaining a professional tone, your audience is more likely to listen, consider what you have to say, and then respectfully ask questions/offer opinions at the appropriate time.
Confidence: You are the expert! That is why you've been invited to make the presentation or speech. Through familiarity with your topic and practice are the greatest confidence builders there are. Everyone makes mistakes or misspeaks, especially as they begin public speaking. Simply correct yourself without a fuss and move on. Smile, relax your shoulders and move around naturally.
Image: Don't disappoint your audience! If they are corporate types, wear your best suit and polished shoes. If they are students, appear a little more casual.
Eye Contact/Movement: Have you seen a student (particularly young students) read in front of the class? They hold the paper way up in front of their face, mumble and stumble through the text, and never make eye contact. As you start, take a deep breath, find a face and smile. Move your eyes naturally around your audience & you want to welcome everyone into your presentation. Move easily and appropriately around the stage, and keep hand movements natural. As with all advice regarding public speaking, practice, practice, practice!
Conviction: How is the tone of your voice? What is your body language revealing? Being neutral (see above) doesn't mean that you can't be persuasive or convincing about the topic on which you are speaking. You can still speak from the heart about what you know.
Stop: Know when to say when! Or rather, know when to stop. Even the most fascinating topic becomes boring when loaded with tons of details. You're here to give overall points, expert facts, opinions, and advice. Summarize at the end, and offer your audience a way to find more on the topic.
Just as with everything else in life, it takes time, energy and effort to acquire the skills needed to present in public with confidence and ease. As you prepare to jump into public speaking, remember that everyone gets a little nervous. Remind yourself that you know what you're talking about! Speak clearly and confidently, listen to and gauge your audience, and respond to their questions and body language. Don't be afraid to adjust!