For many people, speaking in public is one of their greatest fears. The thought of standing up in front of an audience and delivering a speech leaves them feeling terrified. If this is one of your fears, do not be alarmed. The following tips will help you overcome your dread of public speaking.
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.
Know the audience. If you can, try to learn who will be listening to you. If it’s possible, try greeting them as they arrive and take the time to learn their names. This will help you relax and make it more like you are speaking to friends than strangers.
Use your most powerful voice when you are delivering your message and it will be received much better. People listen harder to people that have confidence, and speaking loud will convey that message. Even if you are not 100% confident, no one will know that if you seem to be while you speak.
It is important to give off a confident vibe when giving a speech. Therefore, avoid looking at the floor, ceiling, or your notes too often during the speech. Instead, look into the eyes of your audience. They will realize you are not only confident, but that you have prepared yourself, as well.
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.
It is important to know your material if you want to feel confident about speaking in public. Select a topic that is truly of interest to you, preferably one with which you have first-hand experience. Don’t use fancy words so that the entire audience can understand what you are saying.
Take your time while delivering your speech. One sure fired way for the audience to know that you are nervous is to rush through your speech. Instead, take a deep breath and calm your nerves before beginning. Speak slightly slower than normal when giving a speech to ensure that your audience understands what you are saying.
Look your audience in the eye. People will trust you when you look them in the eye. This doesn’t mean that you should stare intently at them; however, when delivering a speech, let your gaze wander around the room. This technique will help you engage the audience and make them feel comfortable.
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.
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 using slides or other visual aids that include printed messages, assume your audience knows how to read. You can paraphrase the message on the slide, but don’t just read it aloud. This wastes your time and insults your audience’s intelligence. By presenting written material and supporting it with a slightly different spoken version, your message will be more memorable.
One way to better your public speaking skills is by gaining experience in public speaking. After you have groups of people sit through a couple of your speeches and respond positively to them, you will start gaining authority status. This can boost your confidence and help you become a better speaker.
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.
Avoid nervous gestures and mannerisms. Don’t cross your arms or rattle your keys in your pocket. Use your hands to convey your points, but not too much. You don’t want to distract or annoy your audience by waving your arms around. Get a friend to watch you rehearse your speech to identify any gestures or movements that may be problematic.
Ensure that you are thinking positively before making your speech. Feeling nervous is normal. Everyone experiences a little anxiety and nervousness right before an important speech. Avoid negative thinking about yourself and your performance. If you tell yourself you’re going to bomb the speech, chances are, you will. Believe that you will give a great speech, and you probably will.
If you are so nervous during speeches that you cannot look at your audience, try the following trick. Instead of looking into the faces of the people you are speaking to, look at the tops of their heads. Keep looking at different head-tops and your audience will think you are looking right at them as you speak.
If you must give a eulogy for a loved one, be sure to prepare well. This will help you keep your own grief under control as you speak. Keep it brief and memorable with a few key points about the deceased. Remember that, no matter how much you may be grieving, the event is not about you!
Once you have absorbed the information in this article, you will realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. Public speaking is quite easy once you learn a few tips and tricks. The next time that you have to give a speech, just remember what you have read here to make things go smoothly.