Speaking in public is something that strikes fear in the hearts of many. While you may not have to speak in front of an audience very often, the occasion does arise now and then, so it helps to know how to go about doing it well. The information in the following article should equip you to do just that.
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.
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.
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.
Some people prepare their notes for speaking in public by using a tablet or other device; however, this is not necessarily a good idea. Murphy’s law is sure to strike and leave you with a dead battery, a stolen device or some other catastrophe. Be safe and write your remarks on index cards as well as keeping them on your mobile device.
If you accidentally skip part of your speech, roll with it. If you stop while speaking to correct the part you missed, it might throw off the rest of the speech. Also, people will notice it more if you backtrack.
Before starting your speech, try to win over the audience. Smile as they enter, and if it’s possible, shake some hands as you welcome them. Doing this will help you feel confident.
Be sure to practice your speech well in advance. Practice often so that you can deliver your thoughts naturally and smoothly. Use a timer to perfect the length of your speech. In this way, you will neither leave your audience hanging with time to spare, nor force them to stay longer than they wish.
Eye contact is critical during public speaking engagements. Although you may not be able to make eye contact with every member of a large audience, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Before your speech, identify key members of the audience and their assigned seating, if possible. This enables you to make the greatest impact on the most important audience members.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To effectively communicate key data points, supplement your oral presentation with visuals. Reciting numbers and figures is more difficult than conveying words and concepts. Many audience members have trouble visualizing statistics and appreciate simple infographics, such as charts, tables, and graphs. You can also print this data and distribute copies to audience members beforehand.
Take the time to practice in front of a mirror. this can help you see how you look as you are speaking. Then you can try different approaches until you find on that seems right to you. This can help you have a better idea of how you look to the audience who will be watching you.
Know what your strengths are. Frame your speech around your strengths. For example, if you can tell a great story, tell one that your audience will enjoy. Find a way to incorporate the story into your speech in such a way that it flows seamlessly into the presentation of the facts you need to get across.
Carefully choose the words you use when presenting your speech. Technical jargon and other difficult to understand words should be avoided. If you must use a technical word, make sure that your audience understands what that word means by giving them a concise definition of the word. This will help ensure that your audience knows what you are talking about.
Speaking in front of a group of people does not have to be a frightening prospect. You can have the confidence and poise to deliver memorable remarks. Remember the tips you learned in this piece the next time you find yourself standing in front of an audience, and you are sure to make an excellent impression.