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.
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.
If you are prepping, practice a lot and memorize what you need to prior to speech day. After you know the words, work on how it comes across. You will be more comfortable on stage when you have memorized your speech.
Make sure you wear a supportive pair of shoes when you do public speaking. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense on stage from feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly.
Breathe calmly if you are afraid of public speaking. Deep breaths that are taken slowly in and out can calm you. Breathe in for four seconds and then breathe out. Do that five times total, and you’ll be amazed at how you feel!
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.
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.
Know your topic well. Take the necessary time to research your topic and learn all you can. When delivering your speech, try to be flexible. Allow participants to ask questions. If you do not know the answer, tell them that you do not know, but you will find the information out and make it available to the group at a later time.
If you will be speaking for a long time, be sure to have a glass of water handy on the podium. It is also a good idea to have a stool behind the podium so you can perch occasionally if you get too tired. Wear comfortable shoes so that you will be able to concentrate on your speech rather than your feet.
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.
Consider your appearance. The audience is not likely to listen to you when your state of dress or grooming skills are distracting. Consider your audience when you think about what you are going to wear. Suits work well in for most speeches, but consider something more casual when speaking to younger audiences.
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.
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.
If you are scheduled to make a speech, arrive at your venue at least half an hour early. This will give you a chance to set up, to practice and perhaps to relax a bit. If you rush in just a few minutes before your speech, you will not have time to prepare.
Make sure that you have a strong start to your speech since this is the best way to engage the audience. You should try relating a relevant, personal story or telling an anecdote. This is a great way to warm up the crowd and get the ready to hear the main message.
Enjoy your time up on the stage. Public speaking may feel scary, but if you can let go and just enjoy it, you’ll find it surprisingly liberating. You’ve got the microphone, and others are here to hear exactly what you’ve got to say. You may even find yourself smiling.
If you are nervous about speaking to a group, consider a visualization exercise that can help you significantly. Instead of looking out at your audience as people to impress, imagine that they are sitting there in this underwear. It is impossible to be intimidated by people dressed in such a way, so you will be calmer to speak.
When delivering a eulogy, talk about a few of the completely positive aspects of the deceased. Don’t try to give a life history. Speak about two or three pleasant memories that you have of the person. Remember to comport yourself in a dignified way. Do not make large gestures or speak in a raucous manner.
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.