Getting control over your fear of public speaking really is not as hard as you might think. Gaining some education on a few effective strategies is really all you need to do. Continue perusing the paragraphs below, and you will soon see how easy it really can be to move others with your words.
Feeling nervous before speaking in public is very common. To help overcome the fear of speaking in front of others practice the speech you will be giving several times in front of your family. This will allow you to work out any kinks in your speech. Additionally, this will give you the chance to speak in front of others.
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.
Know your surroundings. Take a few moments when you arrive to acquaint yourself with your surroundings. If you can arrive early, go to the podium and do a soundcheck before your audience arrives. If you have visual aids, practice using them while you are orientating yourself with your surroundings.
After committing your speech to memory, practice it over and over. You’ll get smoother at your speech by practicing it often. Also, practice your breathing and pace. Remember to incorporate time into your speech for possible interruptions. Hopefully, some of these interruptions will be for 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.
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.
Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviors serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern.
When you know ahead of time that you will be speaking in public, dress appropriately. You can dress down if you are speaking to a group of children at a summer camp, but dress more formally if you are making remarks at a business luncheon. Avoid flashy colors and distracting accessories. You want the audience to pay attention to your message rather than to your clothing or jewelry.
To increase your effectiveness as a public speaker, maintain good posture when you speak. To inspire confidence you should stand comfortably upright and avoid common posture problems such as slouching or leaning to one side during the presentation. If you don’t intend to use gestures keep your hands in a neutral position, either straight down at your sides or in front of the body with one hand over the other at about navel height. Hold the attention of your audience by adopting a calm and upright demeanor.
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.
Visualize your speech before the big day. Visualize what you will say and the reaction of the audience. You’ll be more confident if you think the audience will respond well.
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.
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.
Focus your energy on your information and audience when doing public speaking. You don’t want to focus on your anxiety and stress when speaking. The point of your speech is to provide information that is important to you and to make sure you deliver it in a way that keeps the audience engaged.
Winging it should not even cross your mind when it comes to public speaking. Even if you’re well-versed on the subject, this isn’t a good idea. The speech might turn out alright, but it may not. However, once you are done, you are going to regret the important things you forgot to bring up.
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.
There really is hope for those who have long felt unable to speak in front of others. By applying some of the solid tips and tricks described above, there is no reason that any timid soul cannot transform into a persuasive public speaker. Get started today, and the results will surely amaze.