Those who became greats were always good at public speaking. I am not talking about authors, poets or scientists as majority of them don’t appear in the public more often.
There was a friend of mine who avoided public speaking and insisted his subordinates to speak in public whenever there was a requirement to do so. The result was predictable. His subordinates became popular in public while he remained confined to his designation and table job.
The first step to speak in public is to gain an interest in doing this. Public speaking is one of the most interesting things
Practice before those who can tell you the mistakes
If possible make your speech heard by someone who can tell you where you may go wrong. Do this in the initial stages. This may be avoided when you are comfortable with speaking in public.
Preparation for predefined speech
Practise extempore speech when lonely. Try to read more and keep yourself aware of the current affairs. If there is a speech that you get time to prepare for then prepare in such a manner that you stick to the point. Don’t exaggerate unnecessarily.
Don’t rely on others to let you speak. There won’t be many instances when the others would pick you up and insist you to present what you have. Grab the opportunity instead.
Pay attention to the body language of the audience
While speaking keep rotating your eyes to every place where the audience is. Everyone should feel that you are addressing him. Pay attention how theymight be feeling while you deliver your lecture.
If you feel the environment is getting dull try to involve some jokes or one liner to bring some energy. You must be clever enough to do it in such a manner that you don’t drift away from the topic. Regular practise and various kinds of reading will make you an expert in this.
Speak with energy. Bring such energy and flow that the audience doesn’t feel sleepy. This doesn’t mean that you make your voice loud or speak extra fast. Try to experiment as much as you can in the initial stages. Listen to those who are/have been popular orators.
Be Selective with your Language/vocabulary
Don’t use heavy terms. The terms that are simple and easy to understand go long way than those that are bulky but out of understanding capacity of common mass. Try to use the words that are more common to the related audience.
Confidence can be gained through regular practise. Always welcome suggestions as they are of help but remember suggestions are by every set of people. Follow only those that you feel are good for you. Listen to every suggestion but follow what you want to.