Do you feel nervous when you have to give a speech? You are not alone. Many people struggle with public speaking every day. The key to public speaking is knowing how to calm those nerves and give a wonderful speech. Use the following tips to help you do just that.
Make sure that you stay focused once you get out there and start talking. Your message will not be received well if you go too far off topic. Do everything you can to stay on the original topic, or you may risk scaring away a large portion of your audience.
You should know your speech by heart. After your speech is memorized, then you can start worrying about your actual delivery. Having your speech memorized in advance also gives you a chance to ad lib comfortably on the stage.
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.
As you prepare your speech, ascertain you know your topic well. Do broad research and view the topic from different perspectives. Make notes of this and use it in your speech. A thorough presentation can pay off when you’ve got the audience asking questions.
Always wear comfortable clothes for a speaking engagement. Even if you must wear a suit or formal dress, be sure your clothing fits properly and does not make you feel too hot. Choose modest clothing for speaking in public, and make sure all fasteners and buttons hold securely so that you do not experience wardrobe malfunction.
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.
If you will be speaking for a long time, be sure to have a glass of water handy on the podium. It is also a good idea to have a stool behind the podium so you can perch occasionally if you get too tired. Wear comfortable shoes so that you will be able to concentrate on your speech rather than your feet.
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.
Eye contact is critical during public speaking engagements. Although you may not be able to make eye contact with every member of a large audience, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Before your speech, identify key members of the audience and their assigned seating, if possible. This enables you to make the greatest impact on the most important audience members.
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.
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.
Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake during your presentation. Unless the information given wrongly is important do not correct your mistake. Instead, continue on with your speech like nothing has happened. If you need to correct the mistake you made, apologize and correct the mistake and continue on.
Videotape a couple of practice sessions of your public speaking engagements. When you can see yourself in action this way, you can easily see what you can improve upon. It may be the way you move your hands or the expression on your face. Seeing this on film gives you a more objective perspective.
Be sure to make good eye contact with your audience. If you are really prepared and know your speech well, this should be easy. Look around the room in a relaxed way. Make eye contact and connect with individuals here and there throughout the audience. In this way, people will feel that you are really addressing them.
Practice as often as you can before it is time to speak to the crowd. Practice in front of a mirror and make changes if anything sounds awkward. Then, use people in your life as test subjects and ask them for a critique. Practicing your speech helps you perfect the words and the delivery.
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.
Organize your speech logically. It is important to sit down and write your speech out and ensure that it flows logically. Think of the questions that will come to people’s minds while you are giving your speech and try to include the information in your speech. Allow your speech to flow from one area to the next seamlessly.
If you are one of many people who get nervous in front of a crowd, do not despair. Many great public speakers deal with the same problem. Luckily, there is a way around it. Use the tips above to help you prepare yourself to make the best speech of your life.