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.
When speaking in public, make sure that what you have to say is engaging, otherwise you risk boring the crowd. Regardless of what you have to say, it will not go over well if it is boring. Practice your speech on people you know to see how the message you are giving is being received.
Being a good public speaker requires lots of preparation. What do you plan to say? If necessary research your key points for better understanding of them. Write down the things you plan on saying. Go over your remarks again and again until you have them memorized. Solid preparation gives you confidence for the speech itself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to public speaking. Do this near a mirror so you can see yourself. Practice for friends and family to get advice.
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.
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.
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.
Be sure to use appropriate visual aids to make your speech more interesting. A picture or an object is worth a thousand words and can add depth and dimension to your presentation. Be creative in your choices of visual aids. Photos, paintings, sculpture, souvenirs, charts, graphs and many other types of objects can help you get your point across clearly.
Envision the speech you must deliver. Visualize what you will say and the reaction of the audience. When you imagine yourself doing this you can increase your confidence.
Learn as much as possible about your audience. Tailoring your delivery and tone ensures that you make your point clearly. Failure to use an appropriate delivery style will likely cause your audience to lose interest and retain key information. For example, you might consider differences in your audience members’ age, income level, and knowledge of the subject matter.
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 prepared for the unexpected. While you hope that nothing will happen to ruin your speech, try to plan for any contingencies. What will you do if one of your audio visual aids does not work? What if the microphone fails? How will you handle audience interruptions or questions? Having a plan in place to handle possible issues makes it more likely that your public speaking experience will go well.
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.
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.