Use your computer or your smartphone to record yourself while practising, and then play back the recording to get a sense of where to improve, said Allison Shapira, a Washington DC-based public speaking coach who works with international clients.
“Nobody likes to hear the sound of their voice, but it’s essential,” she said. Look for inflection in your voice, eye contact and gestures.
Use the video to figure out which nervous gestures you use, suggested Matt Eventoff, a New Jersey-based trainer. Be mindful of slouching, fidgeting or repetitive gesturing with your hands. Notice if you fuss with rings, watches or even clothing buttons while speaking.
“If you are going into a high stakes presentation, you don’t want to wear big jewellery or anything you might play with that could distract the audience,” he said. Practising good posture throughout the day can help you when it’s time to speak, he added.
Once you spot your weaknesses, use a phone or computer camera to track your improvements. Most public speaking apps offer advice specific to these trouble spots.