It is not uncommon for people to feel a sense of dread when they are asked to speak in public. Standing in front of a crowd of strangers and delivering a speech can be difficult even for experienced speakers. To make this task easier, use the following advice on public speaking.
Know the audience that you will be speaking to. To help you get to know the audience, greet people as they enter and engage them in some conversation. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable when you go to the podium. It is much easier to speak to people you know.
Learn the material as well as possible. Regardless of whether you have the words memorized, it is still important to know random facts about the material. Pay attention to how your audience is responding. They can also be used to make the speech stronger or to answer audience questions.
Face you audience at all times when you are giving a speech. Do not turn your attention to things going on behind you or elsewhere. It is important to pay attention to the audience if you expect their attention in return.
Use YouTube to watch and view the masters of public speaking. Watch not only for their content, but also for their styles and habits. Pay close attention to famous moments and replicate such mannerisms sparingly for specific effect. Watch speeches of your favorite presidents or other national leaders, as you can find videos going back decades.
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.
Take a look at the venue before you make your speech. See how big the room is, how many seats there are, and what the lighting is like. You will feel less nervous when you know what environment you will be dealing with. Also, try standing at the podium to get a feel of the stage.
Engage your audience prior to delivering your speech. Greet them and shake their hands or smile at them. Emitting positivity in advance will cause them to listen to your remarks.
When asked to speak at a wedding, you may be tempted to try some sort of funny patter or to poke fun at the participants. Even when your intentions are good, this can be hurtful. It is better to speak in a friendly, caring and supportive way at this important event.
Prior to giving your actual speech, practice it in front of a loved one. When you are done, ask them which parts of the speech are fine and which parts need some improvement. You may even want to read it to a few people. This feedback can help improve your speech.
If looking at an audience makes you nervous, try not to look at anyone in the eye. Instead, look above their heads. Your audience will not be able to tell, and you will not be distracted by anyone’s expression. This will help you keep your focus on your message better.
Use visual aids that are informative but not distracting. You need them to underscore your main points. But, they should not be too distracting where they take away from your message. Visual aids should be of good quality, and used only for specific points where needed. They can be both attractive and colorful without detracting from your presentation.
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.
If you plan to give multiple speeches within a short period of time, take care to protect your vocal cords. A hoarse or inaudible voice is not likely to sway audience members’ opinions. Sleep with a humidifier in your room, sip hot tea, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
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.
Set up a video recorder and practice your speech a few times and record them. then you can look back and what yourself in action. You can take notes, make changes to try for the next time you practice. Having a video of yourself in action can help you assess how at ease you are and how confident you seem.
Include examples and stories into your speech as illustrations. This will make your audience more interested in the information you are presenting. By including information about your family through stories and illustrations, the audience will see you as a person instead of another guest speaker. Limit the stories to one or two for best results.
Be sure to practice public speaking out loud. It may sound simple, but a lot of people tend to practice in their head. They speak the words internally instead of speaking out loud. This can cause all sorts of issues the day of your speech. Get used to hearing your voice, so it doesn’t throw you.
Being able to deliver a speech in public is a very valuable skill to possess. You never know when you might be called upon to speak in public, and the advice that you have read here will help you do so successfully. Keep it in mind if you find yourself in a position where you have to address a crowd.