Public speaking is a part of life. While you may not have to give a speech everyday, it is important to have the right skills when the need comes up. Keep reading for some excellent tips on increasing your public speaking skills and getting your point across clearly every time you make a speech.
Know the audience. If it’s possible to know, learn about some of the specific people that will be there. Greet your audience when they walk through the door. This will help you relax and make it more like you are speaking to friends than strangers.
Make sure that the beginning of your speech is a moment to relax. Greet and address your audience. Then pause for three seconds. This gives them a chance to focus on you, while you get a moment to transform your nervous energy into enthusiasm for the material you are about to deliver.
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.
Always be yourself when you are giving a speech and you will have better luck with the audience. Sincerity is a quality that many people respect and admire. If it is clear to the audience that you are not putting on a show when you are speaking to them, they will receive your message better.
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.
Practice meditation to prepare for your speech. Imagine yourself doing well, feeling comfortable, speaking clearly and enjoying yourself. Imagine that your audience is interested and appreciates what you are saying. When you take the time to imagine a good experience, you greatly increase your chances of actually having a good experience.
Tell a joke to break the ice. A joke can help calm your jittery nerves. Additionally, a well timed joke will allow your audience to relax and see you for who your really are. However, be aware that telling too many jokes can make your audience not believe anything you say.
Do your best to deliver unique information to your audience instead of telling them things they could have easily gotten from someone else. You need to make it clear that it is you that they need to listen to. Do research to make sure that you are not giving them duplicated content.
Strong, clear voices are vital to speeches before crowds. Have some water handy. Do not drink carbonated beverages or a lot of dairy products on the day you are to speak. Beverages such as these cause your saliva to thicken and can cause your body to produce excess mucous. Have a nice mug of hot tea to ease your vocal chords.
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.
Consider your appearance. The audience is not likely to listen to you when your state of dress or grooming skills are distracting. Consider your audience when you think about what you are going to wear. Suits work well in for most speeches, but consider something more casual when speaking to younger audiences.
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.
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.
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.
Try to relax when it comes time for you speak in public. If you need time before your speech, try pausing, smiling, and silently counting to three to relax. When you start speaking, make sure you address your audience. This can also give you some extra time to calm down.
When you are making eye contact with your audience, try not to let your eyes dance around too much. Make eye contact with one person while you finish a sentence. You can engage your audience better this way. It will also make your points seem more forceful when you direct it to an individual.
Try watching professional public speakers. You can learn a lot from people that are famous for their public speaking abilities. Take note of how they speak and how they engage the audience. Figure out what it is that makes them successful. Try incorporating some of their habits and styles in your own speeches.
As stated above, you need to have the right speaking skills if you want to address a crowd and make an impact. Sometimes, the opportunity to speak publicly arises unexpectedly. Be ready when ever the need for a speech arises by following the helpful and simple tips listed above.