There comes a time in every person’s life that public speaking is necessary. Whether you need to make a speech at school, make a sales pitch at work or need to speak to your colleagues at a meeting, public speaking is a part of life. Make the most of the situation with these tips and tricks.
If you have to speak publicly, try to keep it at twenty minutes or less. This is the average attention span of most individuals, so speaking for longer than this is going to risk boring them. If you have to speak for longer than this, find some way to change gears in the middle to liven things up.
Once you have initially memorized your speech, practice it repeatedly. Practice as often as you need to in order to perfect the speech. Also refine your pace. Be sure to allow time in your speaking for pauses or interruptions, which you hope to be audience applause. If at all possible, practice delivering your speech utilizing the actual equipment that will be available at the time you make the actual speech.
To help boost your confidence level imagine giving your speech to a crowd who is anxious to hear your speech. Imagine the audience standing to their feet giving you a standing ovation when you complete your speech. This will help you feel confident when the time comes to deliver your speech.
Never tell the audience that you’re sorry for being nervous or any other issue that comes up. Chances are they didn’t even notice in the first place. Even if they do, coming across as lacking in confidence detracts from your position of authority on your speech that you are making.
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.
To become a better public speaker, talk about what you know. Focus your presentation on the areas of the speech topic that you are familiar with. Your confidence will be noticed by your audience. Before your speech, make sure to research any areas in which your thinking is fuzzy or unclear. This research will enable you to speak clearly and simply. So, do your research and watch your confidence and effectiveness as a public speaker soar.
Even if you are speaking at an informal event, dress nicely. If you feel that you look good, your speaking will reflect that. You don’t have to wear a suit, but wear something nice that will impress the audience.
Be sure you are very familiar with your presentation so you’ll feel confident when speaking publicly. Pick an interesting subject that you have experience in. Keep a conversational tone and impress your audience.
A great way to close your speech and have people remember it, is to have a good ending. Of course your whole speech is important, but your ending is what will help make it memorable. If your ending is boring, it will quickly leave the minds of your audience.
Prepare with note cards if you need to. While you should have your speech memorized, you should carry a set of note cards with you to the podium. You don’t have to have the full speech spelled out, but writing down main points can help you make all of your essential points and omit nothing.
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.
Don’t leap right into your topic. Be sure to start your speech with a nice greeting for your audience. This will help put everyone at ease. It also gives you a chance to settle into position and prepare yourself to speak. Of course, it is also simply the most polite thing to do.
Do your best to deliver unique information to your audience instead of telling them things they could have easily gotten from someone else. You need to make it clear that it is you that they need to listen to. Do research to make sure that you are not giving them duplicated content.
Do not make apologies. Apologizing for being nervous, repeating yourself, stuttering or making any other kind of mistake only draws attention to it. It also makes you and your audience unnecessarily uncomfortable. Keep speaking and try to recover from any mistakes to keep your audience at ease and interested.
Never attempt to “wing it.” Even if you are well-versed in the topic, you do not want to go in unprepared. You might get away with something passable. But, you are surely going to have regrets about the things you leave out.
Gesture naturally as you would in conversation. Don’t try to learn gestures from others. Be yourself. Move around a bit while you are onstage, especially if your presentation is lengthy. This will help keep both you and your audience from being bored. If you are being filmed, try not to dash around too quickly!
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.
As stated in the introduction, there will come a time when you need to speak to a crowd of people. No matter the reason is or the size of the crowd, it is important that you do well. Follow the simple tips listed above to increase your public speaking skills.