Public speaking is one of the most intimidating things for a person to learn how to do well. If you need to learn the art, this article has some great ideas to help you get started. Once you have read it, you should be well on your way to becoming a confident public speaker.
Know the audience that you will be speaking to. To help you get to know the audience, greet people as they enter and engage them in some conversation. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable when you go to the podium. It is much easier to speak to people you know.
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.
Be as familiar as possible with your materials. 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. Use them as needed to help your audience apprehend your points. In addition, you can rely on them during the question and answer period or during follow-up conversations.
If you inadvertently skipped a sentence, keep going. You will ruin your momentum if you try and backtrack to include the missing information. The audience has not seen your speech, so they will remain unaware that you missed something unless you tell them.
Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviors serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern.
If you will be speaking in public, watch some video footage of some of the most famous speeches. Study their delivery of the speech, what information was included in the speech and how they actively engaged their audience. Then, use this information to help you deliver an unforgettable speech.
Know your topic well. Take the necessary time to research your topic and learn all you can. When delivering your speech, try to be flexible. Allow participants to ask questions. If you do not know the answer, tell them that you do not know, but you will find the information out and make it available to the group at a later time.
Take your time while delivering your speech. One sure fired way for the audience to know that you are nervous is to rush through your speech. Instead, take a deep breath and calm your nerves before beginning. Speak slightly slower than normal when giving a speech to ensure that your audience understands what you are saying.
Note cards can be useful. While it it good to memorize your speech, a hard copy can come in handy. Your entire speech need not be written out, but make note cards on the key points to make sure you do not forget anything.
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.
If you can, look over the room and environment where you will be making a speech. Check how big it is, how good the acoustics are and get comfortable in the front of the room. The more familiar you are with room, the more at ease you will be when you have to make your speech.
Be familiar with your audience, and tailor your remarks to them. If you are speaking to children, you will have a different message and style than if you are speaking to a group of executives. Doing a bit of research about the group you are addressing can help you come up with a suitable message and style for your speech.
Practice public speaking in the exact location where you will be doing it live. It’s important to get to know the space where you will be speaking. This way you’ll be less apt to being thrown by the sounds, the podium, or the way the room is set up.
Include examples and stories into your speech as illustrations. This will make your audience more interested in the information you are presenting. By including information about your family through stories and illustrations, the audience will see you as a person instead of another guest speaker. Limit the stories to one or two for best results.
To improve your public speaking skills, take tips from professionals. Many public figures give moving and effective speeches, but so do other, less-prominent people. Watch people who give speeches to see what techniques work well for them. Try to incorporate those techniques to improve your own public speaking. Likewise, notice things that others do during speeches that do not work or that detract from their message, and avoid doing those things.
If you are nervous about speaking to a group, consider a visualization exercise that can help you significantly. Instead of looking out at your audience as people to impress, imagine that they are sitting there in this underwear. It is impossible to be intimidated by people dressed in such a way, so you will be calmer to speak.
Pay attention to your voice when you are speaking in public. Not only do you want your voice to carry to each member in the audience, but you want to vary your voice to keep the audience’s interest. Vary the tone of your voice. Pause now and then for effect. Keep your audience’s attention with variations in your voice, even if you are talking about a dull topic, such as math.
As you can see, public speaking is about confidence. If you are properly prepared and confident that you can deliver the material, you are more than half way there. Use these suggestions whenever you need to. Eventually, you will have the natural ability to handle public speaking situations with ease.