Many people, when asked to give a speech, find themselves feeling very nervous. They may feel tongue-tied and have no idea what to say. Other people are able to address any crowd with confidence. Whether you love or hate public speaking, the following tips will be very helpful to you.
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.
Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
Never assume that you are going in front of a hostile audience. They are giving you their time and attention. They want to be informed, captivated, entertained and moved. Visualize them clapping for you, because they probably hope you give them reason to do just that at some point.
You will win your audience over if you add a little humor to your speech. There is nothing wrong with trowing in a joke or two and putting a smile on your audience’s faces. However, do not go overboard on the jokes, as your audience will not take you serious.
Arrive half an hour early for your speaking engagement so that you can familiarize yourself with the room. Determine where you will be during the presentation. Figure out what path you will take to get to the podium. Be sure to have a glass of water placed on the podium. By taking care of these small details, you will feel more comfortable while speaking.
You must know your material in order to feel comfortable while delivering your speech. Make sure that you pick a subject matter that you are well versed in and personally passionate about. Do not focus on fancy wording or technical language, instead speak in a way that you connect with your audience.
Before you begin your speech, make sure you have already engaged the audience. If possible, meet some of them prior to your speech. Doing this will help you feel confident.
Prepare note cards if you need them. You should memorize your speech, but you should also have a copy of it with you. Don’t worry about having the full text of your speech with you, just be concerned about the important points you’re going to make so you can make sure you don’t forget any of them.
Be sure to practice your speech well in advance. Practice often so that you can deliver your thoughts naturally and smoothly. Use a timer to perfect the length of your speech. In this way, you will neither leave your audience hanging with time to spare, nor force them to stay longer than they wish.
Many people start a speech with a joke in order to grab the audience’s attention, so keep this in mind as you are figuring out what to say. If you are going to tell a joke, make sure that it is tasteful and on topic. Otherwise, you risk alienated some of them.
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.
If you have to give a speech in front of an audience, practice in front of a mirror. Certain hand gestures and expressions can emphasize on a point that you are trying to make. Watching yourself in a mirror can also help you see things about your appearance that you can improve.
Believe in yourself. If you think you will do well, you are more likely to do well. If you think you will fall flat on your face, that is something that is more likely to occur. Try to banish negative thoughts from your mind and envision yourself delivering a perfect speech.
Take a look at the venue where you are scheduled to give a speech prior to the event. This will give you a good idea of where the audience will be sitting and where you will be speaking. It will help set you at ease when you get there since the place will be a bit familiar.
Keep things in perspective. Things do not always go as planned, but that does not necessarily mean that your speech is not effective or well-received. Whether you trip over a cord or forget your next line, it is not the end of the world. If you do not make a big deal of it, most people will probably not even remember that it happened. Regain your poise, and continue with your speech.
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.
Public speaking fills many people with dread, while others thrive by feeding off the energy of a crowd. Whether you are terrified of public speaking and avoid it all costs, or enjoy standing before a crowd of people, these tips can help. Remember them the next time that you have to give a speech.