It is not uncommon for people to feel a sense of dread when they are asked to speak in public. Standing in front of a crowd of strangers and delivering a speech can be difficult even for experienced speakers. To make this task easier, use the following advice on public speaking.
When speaking in public, make sure that what you have to say is engaging, otherwise you risk boring the crowd. Regardless of what you have to say, it will not go over well if it is boring. Practice your speech on people you know to see how the message you are giving is being received.
When you arrive at the podium take a deep breath and engage the audience with your eyes and smile. Take a moment to calm your nerves and use your nervous energy as a way to energize your speech. Allow your audience to feel your excitement for what you are talking about.
When you are giving a speech, face the audience. Don’t turn your attention elsewhere. Your audience should have your complete and focused attention.
Focus on the truth when speaking in public. Give a brief description of your story beforehand. Make certain that the speech has a good flow to it. Base your story on an actual event to make your words seem natural and real.
Use your most powerful voice when you are delivering your message and it will be received much better. People listen harder to people that have confidence, and speaking loud will convey that message. Even if you are not 100% confident, no one will know that if you seem to be while you speak.
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.
If you are nervous when you first stand up to speak, there are a couple of things you can do. Either choose a person toward the center of the audience to focus on or focus on a point at the back of the room. An EXIT sign is a good choice. This will help calm your nerves.
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.
Do not chew gum or eat when you are making a speech. The chewing is unprofessional and distracts your audience. It is permissible to sip from a glass of water occasionally so that your throat does not get dry. Keep that to a minimum too, as it serves as a distraction from your message.
When preparing a speech that contains large amounts of information, don’t be too proud to use note cards. Even the most gifted orators recognize the usefulness of notes. It is preferable to quickly glance at your notes rather than cite information incorrectly or omit key points. This works especially well when the topic includes specific figures, such as dollar amounts, percentages, and dates.
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.
When it comes to public speaking, you need to make sure you practice your speech. Practicing several times before your actual speech can make you become more comfortable with your material. Reading your speech out loud can also help you revise your speech. This is also your chance to get rid of filler words and better your pacing.
Try to find humor in the situation if things do not go as planned. There are many variables when you speak in public, which means that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. The microphone or projector may not work, there may be an interruption in power or someone may enter the room in the midst of your speech. Try to take things in stride. Taking things too seriously can result in you having a meltdown, so try to laugh off any issues that may arise.
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.
Videotape a couple of practice sessions of your public speaking engagements. When you can see yourself in action this way, you can easily see what you can improve upon. It may be the way you move your hands or the expression on your face. Seeing this on film gives you a more objective perspective.
Believe in yourself. If you think you will do well, you are more likely to do well. If you think you will fall flat on your face, that is something that is more likely to occur. Try to banish negative thoughts from your mind and envision yourself delivering a perfect speech.
Think about the purpose of your speech. Do you need to persuade someone? Are you speaking to entertain? Maybe you are speaking to educate your audience. Always keep your purpose in mind to make a great speech. Make sure that every statement in your speech is working toward that goal.
Being able to deliver a speech in public is a very valuable skill to possess. You never know when you might be called upon to speak in public, and the advice that you have read here will help you do so successfully. Keep it in mind if you find yourself in a position where you have to address a crowd.