Public speaking can be a frightening experience for those who have little experience with it. If you do not know much about it, do not fret. You can learn how to be effective at public speaking. The following tips will help you out. Take notes on what you need to be better.
Know as much as you can about your material. Even if your speech is memorized, knowing key facts and elements will help tremendously. Work them in where you think they fit and will engage your current audience. You might also find this information comes in handy when it’s time to answer questions.
When you arrive at the podium take a deep breath and engage the audience with your eyes and smile. Take a moment to calm your nerves and use your nervous energy as a way to energize your speech. Allow your audience to feel your excitement for what you are talking about.
Know your audience. Ask about the people that are going to be the audience. Try and say hello to people as the enter the area and ask their names. Getting familiarized with some of the audience can make the event feel friendlier.
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 have skipped some of the information in your speech, continue talking rather than getting yourself and the audience confused by an awkward flow of words. Do not pause to go back, it might set you off course. Plus, if you don’t draw attention to something that was omitted, then your audience probably won’t even realize anything was missing.
It is important to give off a confident vibe when giving a speech. Therefore, avoid looking at the floor, ceiling, or your notes too often during the speech. Instead, look into the eyes of your audience. They will realize you are not only confident, but that you have prepared yourself, as well.
One key to a successful speech is to make it an appropriate length. Basically, when a speech is too short, you may not be giving all the information the audience is looking for. On the other hand, if your speech is too long, your audience may become bored and you may lose their attention.
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.
Do not try to be someone else when giving your speech. If you want to grab your audience’s attention, you cannot come across as fake; your audience will not take you seriously. So, in other words, avoid saying things you would not normally say and don’t do anything you normally would not do.
Do not chew gum or eat when you are making a speech. The chewing is unprofessional and distracts your audience. It is permissible to sip from a glass of water occasionally so that your throat does not get dry. Keep that to a minimum too, as it serves as a distraction from your message.
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.
If you have to give a speech in front of an audience, practice in front of a mirror. Certain hand gestures and expressions can emphasize on a point that you are trying to make. Watching yourself in a mirror can also help you see things about your appearance that you can improve.
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.
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.
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.
Avoid nervous gestures and mannerisms. Don’t cross your arms or rattle your keys in your pocket. Use your hands to convey your points, but not too much. You don’t want to distract or annoy your audience by waving your arms around. Get a friend to watch you rehearse your speech to identify any gestures or movements that may be problematic.
Try to learn something about your audience before you give your speech. Your goal is to connect with your audience when you speak. If you know a little bit about them, it makes the connection a little easier. If it is an event where people have to register in advance, you can look at the registrations to get an idea of our registrants.
Now, you can see that the best public speakers have ways to help them be more comfortable. You can start practicing these in your own life. Learn everything that you can and refer back to this great article for help. You will be a better speaker very soon if you use these ideas.