Out of all the fears in the world, public speaking is found in the top five. Many people rank it ahead of death on their fear list. Because public speaking is so frightful to so many, advance preparation is key. Get over your fear of public speaking by learning a few simple tips below.
You can’t just expect to have the audience’s attention. Getting the attention of an audience isn’t always easy and keeping it can be even harder. Since this is technically a performance, you have to work to get the desired results.
If you use a timer, you can accurately gauge the length of your speech. Doing this allows you to make sure you stay within the time frame given to you. If your speech is too short, research and find more information to fill in the time. Never rush when you are delivering a speech publically.
It is very important to prepare well so that you can make a positive impression on your audience. Understand exactly what you are planning to say. If you’re unsure of a fact, do your research before adding it to your speech. Jot down notes of anything you’ll be conveying so you can scan over them while giving your speech. Try practicing this speech until you know it by heart. All of the preparation will come in handy, and you will be more confident when up on stage.
When you give a speech to a crowd it is important that they can see your face. This will limit the amount of distractions that you have. You want to make your audience see your point, which means they need your complete attention.
Once your speech is memorized, practice it over and over again. Tweak your speech if you need to. Consider your pace and breathing. Insert spaces into your speech that allow for interruptions, such as applause. If you can, go over your speech where you will be delivering it.
Look at the room you need to make the speech in. Listen to how well your voice will be projected. Practice with the equipment to learn how it operates. Learn the proper use of visual aids that you are incorporating. Get an idea of how much range of eye contact you need to make.
If you accidentally skip part of your speech, roll with it. Stopping and returning to the sentence may ruin the entire speech. If you ignore the mistake, your audience is less likely to notice.
Learn how to do some deep breathing in order to calm your nerves before speaking publicly. First, take a deep breath and hold it for about three seconds. Then exhale very slowly. Do this a few times, and you’ll see that it does help. Use a count of four to breathe through the nose, and then a five count to breathe through the mouth. Repeat this breathing technique five times to help calm your nerves.
Practicing is the best way to ensure that you know what you are going to say. Do this near a mirror so you can see yourself. The best way is to practice giving the speech for friends or family, and have them give constructive criticism.
Dress to impress, even for events that require casual attire. If you look and feel sharply dressed, your speech will reflect it. Men should consider wearing a necktie when possible, as it does direct audience eyes to the face and head so they focus on your speaking.
Take the time to fully understand your material if you hope to give a great speech. Pick something to talk about that you have personally experienced and are truly interested in. Do not focus on fancy wording or technical language, instead speak in a way that you connect with your audience.
Each day, get out your speech and run through it. This can boost your confidence since you’ll know the ins and outs of your material. While you may actually memorize the speech, you need to keep your notes on hand. You’ll want to be able to glance down at the main points if nerves make you forget a main point.
After preparing your speech, practice frequently and thoroughly to commit it to memory. Try practicing in the mirror and use different facial expressions and hand motions. Do a few practice presentations in front of friends to get some feedback. They will help with your weak spots.
Do not apologize to your audience when you are on stage. 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.
It is important to speak with confidence in a clear voice when addressing large groups. It is also recommended that you have water available to drink if you need it. Avoid drinking dairy beverages or sodas the day you’re giving the speech. This can make your saliva thick and can also make you produce more mucous. Hot tea prior to your speech can help relax the vocal chords.
Don’t make your audience wait to ask questions at the end of the speech. This is important to keep them on their toes. People will appreciate having a chance to get answers to their questions as they arise; so let them do just that.
Get the audience warmed up before starting your presentation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a joke, but it could be. Just use a story that is easy for your audience to identify with, and you’ll be on the right track. This will help you connect with the audience.
Don’t wing it. This is not a good idea, even if you are an expert at what you are speaking about. Your final speech may be very passionate. However, after finishing, you’ll still remember some aspects that you forgot to mention.
Some find public speaking to be even more intimidating than death itself. As mentioned previously, it is among the five biggest fears that people have. Don’t allow fear of speaking in public be in control of you, however. Put this advice to use and start speaking publicly like a pro.