At some point in your life, you are likely to be called upon to speak in front of others. Being skilled at public speaking helps any speech, no matter who you are giving it to. The following public speaking tips will help improve your skills and techniques when in front of any type of crowd.
Love your topic. To help you be able to talk confidently when speaking in front of others, choose a topic that you know a lot about. Include tidbits of information that is not commonly known to keep your audience engaged. Finally, speak in a conversational tone to help you remain calm and composed.
Being prepared – understanding your topic is key. Even when you commit your speech to memory, knowing jokes, facts and figures with regard to the topic is always helpful. Insert them and gauge how your audience reacts to them. In addition, you can rely on them during the question and answer period or during follow-up conversations.
Do not give your speech without going over it many times. Sometimes, people think it is okay to just get up the podium and figure out what they are going to say right there and then. The thing is, you may find yourself unable to keep the speech going. Be sure to create your speech and go over it numerous times.
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.
Project your voice when you speak in front of an audience. This is particularly true if you do not have the benefit of a microphone. You want everyone in the room to be able to hear you, so do not be afraid to speak as loudly as necessary to accomplish that. There is no point in making a speech that most of the audience cannot hear.
Learning how to breathe properly can help to relieve your stress about speaking. Taking some deep breaths and then exhaling all the way before giving a speech can reduce nerves. Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of five. You’ll feel calm if you repeat this six times.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Think about the purpose of your speech. Do you need to persuade someone? Are you speaking to entertain? Maybe you are speaking to educate your audience. Always keep your purpose in mind to make a great speech. Make sure that every statement in your speech is working toward that goal.
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.
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.
Avoid creating physical barriers between yourself and your audience. While you may feel more comfortable hiding behind a podium, this limits your effectiveness. Audience members may tire of keeping their eyes glued to one spot, and they are likely to lose interest. By moving around during your speech, you hold the audience’s interest and appear more dynamic.
Try to learn something about your audience before you give your speech. Your goal is to connect with your audience when you speak. If you know a little bit about them, it makes the connection a little easier. If it is an event where people have to register in advance, you can look at the registrations to get an idea of our registrants.
Even the average Joe can give a great speech. The keys to giving a good public speech are preparation and confidence in your abilities to convey your message. Even if you’re not behind the podium, using these tips can benefit your overall speaking abilities.