At one point or another, you are probably going to have to speak before others. Your skills in public speaking have an enormous impact on the audience, whether you are speaking to colleagues, clients or members of the community. The following public speaking tips will help improve your skills and techniques when in front of any type of crowd.
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.
The way you look can determine how well you do at public speaking. If you are not well-groomed or dressed at your best, you are not going to feel very confident with yourself. This lack of confidence may cause you more fear and could mess up your whole speech. So, be sure to look your best!
Prepare in advance the best that you can before a speech. Be aware of all you would like to say. If you’re unsure of a fact, do your research before adding it to your speech. Use note cards to write out anything you will be saying so that you can look over them while speaking. Go over them each day until you can confidently speak it from memory. Being prepared will make you confident when you step up to the podium.
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.
Find one person in the crowd who looks trustworthy and focus on them. Pretend like the two of you are the only people in the room. A major reason why people are scared of speaking in public is because of the amount of people in the room. If you just focus on one person, you will forget anyone else is there.
Familiarize yourself with the room you are using to give your speech. Learn how loud you need speak before the event. Practice using the equipment before the event. Try learning to use visual aids, if they’re available. Find out what eye contact range you should have.
Project your voice when you speak in front of an audience. This is particularly true if you do not have the benefit of a microphone. You want everyone in the room to be able to hear you, so do not be afraid to speak as loudly as necessary to accomplish that. There is no point in making a speech that most of the audience cannot hear.
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.
Take the time to research other important speeches. The internet has a wealth of recorded speeches so that you can observe how they do it. Focus on the qualities that you liked in their speech and emulate them. Look for qualities such as their ease in speaking, their humor and how they capture the attention of the audience.
If you must do a lot of extemporaneous speaking, be sure to keep up on current events and topics of interest. In this way, you will always have something new and interesting to say. Remember that it is usually best to choose a complimentary approach rather than a humorous one unless you are extremely sure of your ability to amuse people!
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.
Make sure you practice your speech every single day. This can boost your confidence since you’ll know the ins and outs of your material. No matter how well you know the speech, make sure to bring your notes with you. This allows you to take a quick peek at your notes should you happen to forget what you wanted to say next.
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.
Do not make apologies. Apologizing for being nervous, repeating yourself, stuttering or making any other kind of mistake only draws attention to it. It also makes you and your audience unnecessarily uncomfortable. Keep speaking and try to recover from any mistakes to keep your audience at ease and interested.
Be prepared for the unexpected. While you hope that nothing will happen to ruin your speech, try to plan for any contingencies. What will you do if one of your audio visual aids does not work? What if the microphone fails? How will you handle audience interruptions or questions? Having a plan in place to handle possible issues makes it more likely that your public speaking experience will go well.
You don’t have to be a literary genius or crafty politician to use public speaking skills. Confidence and preparation will ensure that you succeed. The advice you have read here can be useful in many different situations that you encounter.