Nobody would dispute the proposition that public speaking can be very intimidating, if not crippling to some. The fact remains, though, that with a bit of coaching and solid technique, everyone has the power to get better at it. The article below is intended to help that process go more smoothly.
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.
Never drink before you have to speak in public. People under the influence tend to slur their words or forget them altogether. You may go up to podium and think you have everything under control only to realize you were incorrect. That is why you should skip drinking any type of alcohol.
Always look at your audience when you are speaking in public. Do not let yourself become distracted by something else happening in the room. Since you want the audience to engage in what you are saying, you need to get their attention.
If you accidentally skipped over a sentence, forget it and keep going. Stopping during the speech to return to the point may cause you to go off the rails. If you don’t mention it, the audience will never know you overlooked something.
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 take drugs or alcohol to relieve your fears. Though it may work to loosen you up, that might just be a bad idea. You can forget things and appear haphazard when you are on stage.
When you know ahead of time that you will be speaking in public, dress appropriately. You can dress down if you are speaking to a group of children at a summer camp, but dress more formally if you are making remarks at a business luncheon. Avoid flashy colors and distracting accessories. You want the audience to pay attention to your message rather than to your clothing or jewelry.
Rehearse your speech every day. If you can give your speech “in your sleep,” you’ll feel much more confident when you get on stage. Even if you have memorized your speech, take your note cards with you to the podium. This will help if you stumble over any part of your speech or forget an important point.
To increase your effectiveness as a public speaker, maintain good posture when you speak. To inspire confidence you should stand comfortably upright and avoid common posture problems such as slouching or leaning to one side during the presentation. If you don’t intend to use gestures keep your hands in a neutral position, either straight down at your sides or in front of the body with one hand over the other at about navel height. Hold the attention of your audience by adopting a calm and upright demeanor.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making your speech even if they are available at the event at which you are speaking. While alcohol may relax you, you do not want to appear inebriated when you make your speech. You may forget what you want to say, slur your speech, inadvertently insult someone or even become sick in the midst of speaking if you drink too much. Save the liquor for your post-speech celebration.
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 people wait until the end of your speech to ask questions. Waiting can cause your audience to forget important points. People appreciate speakers more if they can ask questions anytime they have them, so give them what they desire.
To effectively communicate key data points, supplement your oral presentation with visuals. Reciting numbers and figures is more difficult than conveying words and concepts. Many audience members have trouble visualizing statistics and appreciate simple infographics, such as charts, tables, and graphs. You can also print this data and distribute copies to audience members beforehand.
Take the time to practice in front of a mirror. this can help you see how you look as you are speaking. Then you can try different approaches until you find on that seems right to you. This can help you have a better idea of how you look to the audience who will be watching you.
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.
It is impossible to deny the fact that public speaking makes many folks run away in fear. While it can certainly be nerve-wracking to speak in front of others, this is not a fear that is impossible to overcome. Use the advice in this article as necessary and get control of the situation today.