Does the idea of giving a speech make your hands sweat and your heart race? Do you hide in fear when in situations where public speaking may be required? There really is no need to continue your dread of speaking before others as long as you are prepared to take the following advice seriously.
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.
It is important to realize that most people really want you to succeed. The most important thing is to deliver relevant, interesting information. To help keep your speech entertaining either tell a story about yourself or a joke to warm the crowd up. This will not only warm the crowd, but it will also allow you to relax.
Avoid alcohol before you deliver your speech. Though it may work to loosen you up, that might just be a bad idea. Nothing is more awful than reaching the podium and drawing a blank on what to say, simply because you are drunk.
Never hold a deep conversation with someone just because they are sitting in one of the front rows. When you are speaking in public, everyone should be just as important to you. Make sure that every single person in the room is fully aware of everything that is being said.
Before you get ready for your speech, make sure you know the material. This is easy when you are actually interested in the topic you have chosen. Try learning more about the topic than what you actually say in your speech. This will help you add some useful additional information. it can also help you better answer questions.
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.
Don’t over do the visual aids. You need to add to what you’re saying using them. Avoid letting them overshadow your words. Use high quality visual aids to make key points. Make them colorful and neat but not distracting.
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.
Reconsider having a few drinks to loosen yourself up. You may be so nervous before the speech or at such a fun event that you drink a little too much. Some of the most embarrassing speeches are the fault of having a little too much to drink before making the speech.
Warm the audience up before you give a speech. This is not to say that you should start right out with a joke. You can mention about something that happened to you on your way to the venue, that you think your audience can identify with. It’s a smart way to create a strong first impression with the crowd.
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.
Always know the audience you’re speaking to before giving a speech. Every group of people has different expectations of you. As an example, your colleagues will be looking to learn something new from your speech. In a more casual setting, you will want to keep your audience smiling and laughing. Please your audience, no matter who they are.
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.
Never tell the people you are speaking to that you are nervous. They will regard your speech more highly if you simply deliver it to them without any personal confessions. Usually, the audience has no idea that you’re nervous. Try to convince the listeners that you are in command of the situation, even if your true feelings are the opposite.
Visit your venue a few days in advance to get the lay of the land. Being familiar with the room where you will speak will make everything easier and more comfortable. On the day of the event, be sure to arrive early to socialize with members of your audience and begin creating a connection.
Ask your friends to help you prepare for public speaking. Get four or five of them together, and present your speech as you would in front of the larger group you are preparing for. It’s essential to get used to having other people in the room while you speak.
If you are so nervous during speeches that you cannot look at your audience, try the following trick. Instead of looking into the faces of the people you are speaking to, look at the tops of their heads. Keep looking at different head-tops and your audience will think you are looking right at them as you speak.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you fled rather than risk having to speak in front of others? If so, you need to take control. Use the information and guidance presented above whenever necessary and make a conscious decision to become a skilled, confident public speaker staring now.