Though there are certainly some people with a natural knack for public speaking, many more seem to live in fear of being called upon to get up in front of others in this way. However, by reviewing some key concepts, it is quite possible to make public speaking something to love, not dread. The article below should help.
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.
Make sure you wear a supportive pair of shoes when you do public speaking. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense on stage from feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly.
Once your speech is memorized, practice it over and over again. This will allow you time to tweak the speech if needed. Practice your pace and breathing. Leave a little bit of open space in case you’re interrupted, hopefully by a round of applause. If you can, go over your speech where you will be delivering it.
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.
The most effective way to refine the message of a speech is to practice it. Do this near a mirror so you can see yourself. However, it is always best to prepare your speech in front of family and friends, since instant feedback is the best.
Take a look at the venue before you make your speech. See how big the room is, how many seats there are, and what the lighting is like. You will feel less nervous when you know what environment you will be dealing with. Also, try standing at the podium to get a feel of the stage.
Engage your audience prior to delivering your speech. Smile when entering the room, and you can try shaking hands if you’re able. The audience is sure to show appreciation if you have a great attitude.
Once your speech is prepared, practice it as much as you can until it’s memorized. Practice it while you are looking into a mirror and try using different hand gestures or facial expressions that help to make your points. Ask those close to you to allow you to deliver the speech to them and give you feedback. Their feedback will prove invaluable to improving your speech.
Prior to giving your actual speech, practice it in front of a loved one. When you are done, ask them which parts of the speech are fine and which parts need some improvement. You may even want to read it to a few people. This feedback can help improve your speech.
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.
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.
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.
Create a simple outline for better public presentations. In public speaking your aim is clear communication. This does not happen by chance. A simple outline should include an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The introduction should capture attention and present your thesis. The body should include your major ideas. The conclusion should repeat your thesis and end with a call to action. Using an outline will ensure that your ideas are presented in an understandable manner.
Use quotes to your advantage when speaking in public. A good quotation can form the basis of your remarks, or you can intersperse quotes throughout your speech. When using quotes, be sure to give credit to the source. Practice delivering the quote in an effective tone of voice and with the proper inflections for best results.
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.
If you will be using a white board, make sure that you have everything you need before the presentation. There is nothing more embarrassing than to be missing something that you need while you are talking, like a dry erase marker or eraser. Keep extra pens up there in case one runs out of ink.
Lots of folks hate the idea of having to speak to a group. But, armed with the information presented in the piece above, nobody should worry too much the next time the need does arise. Refer to these materials often, and speaking to groups will become easier than it ever seemed possible.