Most people will have to give a public speech at some point in their lives. But a majority of people say that they dread the thought of speaking to an audience. So you need to learn to conquer that fear. The tips below can help you do just that and give a speech to be proud of.
Make sure you wear a supportive pair of shoes when you do public speaking. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense on stage from feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly.
If you have to speak publicly, try to keep it at twenty minutes or less. This is the average attention span of most individuals, so speaking for longer than this is going to risk boring them. If you have to speak for longer than this, find some way to change gears in the middle to liven things up.
Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
One key to a successful speech is to make it an appropriate length. Basically, when a speech is too short, you may not be giving all the information the audience is looking for. On the other hand, if your speech is too long, your audience may become bored and you may lose their attention.
Always wear comfortable clothes for a speaking engagement. Even if you must wear a suit or formal dress, be sure your clothing fits properly and does not make you feel too hot. Choose modest clothing for speaking in public, and make sure all fasteners and buttons hold securely so that you do not experience wardrobe malfunction.
Many people start a speech with a joke in order to grab the audience’s attention, so keep this in mind as you are figuring out what to say. If you are going to tell a joke, make sure that it is tasteful and on topic. Otherwise, you risk alienated some of them.
Never say that you are sorry when giving a speech. You might think you’re making a giant idiot of yourself, but your audience may hold a different view. Should you make an error, simply correct it and continue on without apologizing.
Improve your public speaking by concluding with a call to action. A call to action does not have to mean giving your audience the hard sell. Instead, focus on suggesting actions that truly will benefit your audience members. Explain how your call to action will help them and make sure the action you recommend is simple and effective. Include a helpful call to action in every public speaking engagement.
One of the best ways to learn is to watch. Do a little research. Think about the best public speakers in history, then watch videos of them making speeches. You can learn a lot when you focus on their mannerisms and the way they address the audience. Try to emulate those skills.
If you use a computer program to present pictures and information, be sure that you know how to operate it. The last thing you want is to waste the time when you are supposed to be speaking with a lot of computer fiddling. Practice your speech and your visual aids presentation thoroughly.
If you have to give a speech in front of an audience, practice in front of a mirror. Certain hand gestures and expressions can emphasize on a point that you are trying to make. Watching yourself in a mirror can also help you see things about your appearance that you can improve.
If using slides or other visual aids that include printed messages, assume your audience knows how to read. You can paraphrase the message on the slide, but don’t just read it aloud. This wastes your time and insults your audience’s intelligence. By presenting written material and supporting it with a slightly different spoken version, your message will be more memorable.
Try your best to convey emotions as you speak to your audience. If you are monotone, this will only make people bored and they will stop listening to you. While you don’t have to bounce of the walls to let them know you have energy, it is important that you show some type of feeling.
If there are problems with the lighting, the sound equipment or anything else, take it in stride. Don’t get angry or overwhelmed. Stay dignified and helpful until the problem is resolved. Pick up your speech where you left off and just move forward. People will remember your grace under pressure.
If you are scheduled to make a speech, arrive at your venue at least half an hour early. This will give you a chance to set up, to practice and perhaps to relax a bit. If you rush in just a few minutes before your speech, you will not have time to prepare.
Keep things in perspective. Things do not always go as planned, but that does not necessarily mean that your speech is not effective or well-received. Whether you trip over a cord or forget your next line, it is not the end of the world. If you do not make a big deal of it, most people will probably not even remember that it happened. Regain your poise, and continue with your speech.
Grab your audience from the get-go with an interesting fact or statistic. Avoid lengthy greetings or excessive thanks of the person who has introduced you. Jump right in and deliver your material with confidence and conviction. This will keep your audience’s attention and make an excellent, memorable and lasting impression.
As you can see, there are many methods and tricks to help you overcome a fear of public speaking. You need to find the ones from above to help you deal with whatever aspect of public speaking bothers you the most. So take the hints from above and use them to give the best speech that you can.