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 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.
Try to relax before and during your speech. Breathe deeply and remember that you are well-prepared, so you have nothing to worry about. Some say that it helps to envision your audience members in their underwear to help you relax. This sort of visualization can help you look and feel more relaxed while speaking.
Do not allow anything to distract you while you are speaking in public. It is crucial that you don’t participate in activities like twiddling your thumbs or jingling keys. This will give your audience the idea that you would rather be doing something else than be there talking to them.
The tone of your speech should depend on who you are giving it to. For instance, if your speech is work-related, your speech should be professional. On the other hand, if you are around friends and have to make a speech, you can be more personal. Base your whole speech on your audience.
Some people prepare their notes for speaking in public by using a tablet or other device; however, this is not necessarily a good idea. Murphy’s law is sure to strike and leave you with a dead battery, a stolen device or some other catastrophe. Be safe and write your remarks on index cards as well as keeping them on your mobile device.
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.
The more public speaking you do, the more comfortable you will become. To help you gain the experience you need, offer to go to your local high school to share your knowledge with others. Most teachers are happy to have executives visit their class to give their students a chance to hear about different careers.
If you are asked to speak about an unfamiliar subject, be sure to make the most of your research time. Study a wide variety of texts, videos and actual examples of your topic. Talk with people who know about it. When you speak, you can choose to talk about your research and share what you have learned rather than attempting to present yourself as an actual expert.
Do not try to be someone else when giving your speech. If you want to grab your audience’s attention, you cannot come across as fake; your audience will not take you seriously. So, in other words, avoid saying things you would not normally say and don’t do anything you normally would not do.
Do not chew gum or eat when you are making a speech. The chewing is unprofessional and distracts your audience. It is permissible to sip from a glass of water occasionally so that your throat does not get dry. Keep that to a minimum too, as it serves as a distraction from your message.
Practice your speech as much as possible so that it becomes second-nature. 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 for feedback from your family or friends as you practice in front of them. They will help with your weak spots.
To help your speech make a big impact on your audience members, do what you can to make the ending memorable. While all parts of your speech are important, the ending is what people will probably remember most. A boring ending isn’t going to help your speech get remembered that long.
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.
Learn as much as possible about your audience. Tailoring your delivery and tone ensures that you make your point clearly. Failure to use an appropriate delivery style will likely cause your audience to lose interest and retain key information. For example, you might consider differences in your audience members’ age, income level, and knowledge of the subject matter.
If there are problems with the lighting, the sound equipment or anything else, take it in stride. Don’t get angry or overwhelmed. Stay dignified and helpful until the problem is resolved. Pick up your speech where you left off and just move forward. People will remember your grace under pressure.
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.
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.
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.