Though there are certainly some people with a natural knack for public speaking, many more seem to live in fear of being called upon to get up in front of others in this way. However, by reviewing some key concepts, it is quite possible to make public speaking something to love, not dread. The article below should help.
When you are speaking in public, there is usually a time frame that you need to stick to. Make sure that you get to your key points before your time is up. Otherwise, you will have wasted all of our time since the audience will not have received the message you were trying to deliver.
Find one person in the crowd who looks trustworthy and focus on them. Pretend like the two of you are the only people in the room. A major reason why people are scared of speaking in public is because of the amount of people in the room. If you just focus on one person, you will forget anyone else is there.
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.
Know who you’re speaking to. Ask about the people that are going to be the audience. If possible, greet them when they arrive. Having a feeling of familiarity with some audience members can make the whole presentation or speech feel more friendly.
You will win your audience over if you add a little humor to your speech. There is nothing wrong with trowing in a joke or two and putting a smile on your audience’s faces. However, do not go overboard on the jokes, as your audience will not take you serious.
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.
Prior to launching into your material, try to win over the crowd. Be available to shake some hands and smile as people enter the room. When you give off a positive vibe prior to your speech, the audience will be more interested in what you have to say.
Practice your speech until it’s perfect. Deliver your speech while looking in a mirror to help you see the effects of various facial expressions and hand gestures that you use to bring points home. Ask those closest to you to listen to your presentation as well. They will help with your weak spots.
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.
When preparing a speech that contains large amounts of information, don’t be too proud to use note cards. Even the most gifted orators recognize the usefulness of notes. It is preferable to quickly glance at your notes rather than cite information incorrectly or omit key points. This works especially well when the topic includes specific figures, such as dollar amounts, percentages, and dates.
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.
Tell a joke to break the ice. A joke can help calm your jittery nerves. Additionally, a well timed joke will allow your audience to relax and see you for who your really are. However, be aware that telling too many jokes can make your audience not believe anything you say.
If you can, look over the room and environment where you will be making a speech. Check how big it is, how good the acoustics are and get comfortable in the front of the room. The more familiar you are with room, the more at ease you will be when you have to make your speech.
Always leave your audience wanting more. Nothing is worse than a speaker who drones on and on for what seems like hours. Instead, get your information delivered in a timely fashion. Keep the speech within the requested time parameters. However, do not keep your speech so short that you do not give your audience the information that they desire.
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.
Allow people to ask questions at any point during your speech. People might forget important questions. You will garner much more appreciation from your listeners if you permit interruptions, so let them fire away with questions.
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.
Lots of folks hate the idea of having to speak to a group. But, armed with the information presented in the piece above, nobody should worry too much the next time the need does arise. Refer to these materials often, and speaking to groups will become easier than it ever seemed possible.