The whole process of speaking in public makes some people worried and overwhelmed. Between figuring out what you will say to overcoming your nerves, it is important to keep your cool and have a plan. The article that follows will provide you with some tips to make public speaking a breeze for you.
Make sure that you stay focused once you get out there and start talking. Your message will not be received well if you go too far off topic. Do everything you can to stay on the original topic, or you may risk scaring away a large portion of your audience.
Know your surroundings. Take a few moments when you arrive to acquaint yourself with your surroundings. If you can arrive early, go to the podium and do a soundcheck before your audience arrives. If you have visual aids, practice using them while you are orientating yourself with your surroundings.
Some people prepare their notes for speaking in public by using a tablet or other device; however, this is not necessarily a good idea. Murphy’s law is sure to strike and leave you with a dead battery, a stolen device or some other catastrophe. Be safe and write your remarks on index cards as well as keeping them on your mobile device.
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.
It is important to give off a confident vibe when giving a speech. Therefore, avoid looking at the floor, ceiling, or your notes too often during the speech. Instead, look into the eyes of your audience. They will realize you are not only confident, but that you have prepared yourself, as well.
Never assume that you are going in front of a hostile audience. They are giving you their time and attention. They want to be informed, captivated, entertained and moved. Visualize them clapping for you, because they probably hope you give them reason to do just that at some point.
You will win your audience over if you add a little humor to your speech. There is nothing wrong with trowing in a joke or two and putting a smile on your audience’s faces. However, do not go overboard on the jokes, as your audience will not take you serious.
The more public speaking you do, the more comfortable you will become. To help you gain the experience you need, offer to go to your local high school to share your knowledge with others. Most teachers are happy to have executives visit their class to give their students a chance to hear about different careers.
If you are asked to speak about an unfamiliar subject, be sure to make the most of your research time. Study a wide variety of texts, videos and actual examples of your topic. Talk with people who know about it. When you speak, you can choose to talk about your research and share what you have learned rather than attempting to present yourself as an actual expert.
Use YouTube to watch and view the masters of public speaking. Watch not only for their content, but also for their styles and habits. Pay close attention to famous moments and replicate such mannerisms sparingly for specific effect. Watch speeches of your favorite presidents or other national leaders, as you can find videos going back decades.
If you will be speaking for a long time, be sure to have a glass of water handy on the podium. It is also a good idea to have a stool behind the podium so you can perch occasionally if you get too tired. Wear comfortable shoes so that you will be able to concentrate on your speech rather than your feet.
It is a good idea to use slides as a visual aid, but do not allow this to be the largest part of your presentation. If people notice that there is more on the slides than what is coming from your mouth, they will lose interest before you know it.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making your speech even if they are available at the event at which you are speaking. While alcohol may relax you, you do not want to appear inebriated when you make your speech. You may forget what you want to say, slur your speech, inadvertently insult someone or even become sick in the midst of speaking if you drink too much. Save the liquor for your post-speech celebration.
Always leave your audience wanting more. Nothing is worse than a speaker who drones on and on for what seems like hours. Instead, get your information delivered in a timely fashion. Keep the speech within the requested time parameters. However, do not keep your speech so short that you do not give your audience the information that they desire.
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.
The above article has proven that public speaking is not something you need to fear. In fact, the process will be a cinch if you set up a plan and follow through with it. You have been given some ideas above; be sure to use them as part of your plan.