Many people are terrified of public speaking. Most get out of speaking engagements if they can. Sometimes, you may have to speak in front of a group of people though. If you aren’t comfortable with your current public speaking skill set and want some advice on how to do it better, then keep reading.
When you speak in public, remember that people will not automatically follow what you say. It is up to you to grab their attention and hold on to it. Your speech is a performance, you have to make people want to listen.
Being prepared – understanding your topic is key. It is useful to know all the facts, figures and a few jokes or stories relating to your topic, whether your speech is memorized or not. It is possible to work them into your speech as you get a feel for your audience. They are also useful while answering questions from the audience on in follow up conversations.
Once your speech is memorized, practice it over and over again. This will allow you time to tweak the speech if needed. In addition, practice breathing and controlling the pace of the speech. Give yourself some pause time after making key points. If at all possible, you should practice giving your speech using the equipment that will be used.
Know the audience. If you can, learn who the individuals are who are expected to attend. Greet your audience when they walk through the door. Having a personal familiarity with a few people in the crowd can make it a lot more friendly feeling.
Tell the story true to be a better speaker. Have your outline fully prepared. Your story should sound very credible. If you relate the story to something personal or some other event that truly happened, your story will be more natural.
If you accidentally skip part of your speech, roll with it. If you stop and backtrack and try to correct your error, you will end up with a big mess. Additionally, backing up will just make it abundantly clear to your audience that you messed up.
Try some deep breathing exercises to get over nerves when speaking in public. Deep breathing can be tremendously helpful at controlling nerves. Use a count of four to breathe through the nose, and then a five count to breathe through the mouth. You’ll feel calm if you repeat this six times.
You need to master your material in order to gain true confidence. Make a thoughtful topic selection, preferably one that you know well. Speak in a conversational tone to impress the audience with what you know rather than confusing them with unfamiliar terminology.
Practice your speech each day. This will really bolster your confidence because you will know your material inside and out. While having the speech memorized is ideal, you should carry note cards with you to the podium. This will give you peace of mind because you will be able to peek at your notes should you forget what you’re about to say.
If you have to, make use of note cards. Having a copy of your speech is a good idea, even when you have the speech memorized. You don’t need the whole thing written down, but having your main points on note cards can help you avoid leaving out the important points in your speech.
Even if you are very nervous and feel that you are falling all over yourself, don’t apologize. You may think you are making a fool of yourself, and your audience may not even be able to see it. If you happen to make an error, make the needed adjustments and don’t apologize.
Picture your speech before you are on stage. You want to imagine both the speech and how the audience reacts. By visualizing a successful delivery, you will significantly boost your confidence.
Warm the audience up before you give a speech. However, that doesn’t mean you have to open up with a joke. Talk about a story that just happened or begin with a joke. It’s a smart way to create a strong first impression with the crowd.
Never try to wing it. Even if you’re well-versed on the subject, this isn’t a good idea. It may be possible for you to deliver a speech that is fair to middling. However, when it’s all said and done and you realize all the important information you omitted, you will most likely be sorry.
Get yourself into the proper frame of mind. It’s okay to be nervous. Most public speakers have some fear before approaching the podium. But, you do not want to descend into negative thoughts. If you think you’ll fail, you’ll most likely fail. Know you are going to do well, and you will.
To connect with your audience, begin your speech with a story. Do this by thinking of something others can relate to such as something personal in your own life or a current event. This makes you more appealing to your audience. When coming up with a narrative, do not include any anecdote that people might find inappropriate or offensive.
Try to avoid announcing your nervousness to the audience during your speech. You’ll appear to be a stronger speaker if you don’t let them know this. It is often the case that a speaker believes their fear is showing through, but it usually is not. Make your audience think you are confident, even if you aren’t.
Speed is a crucial consideration in any speech. Because you are nervous, you are likely to speak too fast, which will result in your audience missing some of the key points you make. Do not speak too slowly either, or risk lulling your audience into boredom. Practice your speech beforehand many times to deliver it at the perfect speed.
Just about anyone can face a crowd and speak. You need a good approach and practice. Practicing is key, and the more you do it, the better your speech will be. Refer to these tips next time you have a big speech to give. Remember, it’s never as horribly bad as you imagine.