If you’ve ever asked for advice on public speaking, chances are you’ve heard some rather absurd responses. True, imagining your audience in their underpants may distract you from your anxiety momentarily. However, effective public speaking requires more than the absence of anxiety. These tips offer up a host of ideas to improve your experience speaking in front of groups.
The way you look can determine how well you do at public speaking. If you are not well-groomed or dressed at your best, you are not going to feel very confident with yourself. This lack of confidence may cause you more fear and could mess up your whole speech. So, be sure to look your best!
Use your most powerful voice when you are delivering your message and it will be received much better. People listen harder to people that have confidence, and speaking loud will convey that message. Even if you are not 100% confident, no one will know that if you seem to be while you speak.
Do not be afraid to let your audience know that you have no idea of the answer to some of their questions. People will respect your honesty and understand that you are human. This is much better than rambling on trying to convince them you know what is going on when you don’t.
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.
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.
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.
It is a good idea to use slides as a visual aid, but do not allow this to be the largest part of your presentation. If people notice that there is more on the slides than what is coming from your mouth, they will lose interest before you know it.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making your speech even if they are available at the event at which you are speaking. While alcohol may relax you, you do not want to appear inebriated when you make your speech. You may forget what you want to say, slur your speech, inadvertently insult someone or even become sick in the midst of speaking if you drink too much. Save the liquor for your post-speech celebration.
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.
If you use a computer program to present pictures and information, be sure that you know how to operate it. The last thing you want is to waste the time when you are supposed to be speaking with a lot of computer fiddling. Practice your speech and your visual aids presentation thoroughly.
Be familiar with the environment in which you are speaking. Arrive early so that you can look over the room and set up and check any equipment you are using. Practice using any audio-visual aids so that you know how they work and you know they are in working order. This helps you avoid an embarrassing issues with equipment and provides you with more self confidence.
Gesture naturally as you would in conversation. Don’t try to learn gestures from others. Be yourself. Move around a bit while you are onstage, especially if your presentation is lengthy. This will help keep both you and your audience from being bored. If you are being filmed, try not to dash around too quickly!
Practice public speaking in the exact location where you will be doing it live. It’s important to get to know the space where you will be speaking. This way you’ll be less apt to being thrown by the sounds, the podium, or the way the room is set up.
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.
The pace of your speech is very important. Nerves can sometimes cause you to speak too quickly, which could lead to your audience missing some of your important points. Do not speak too slowly either, or risk lulling your audience into boredom. Listen to it as you practice so that the rate is comfortable.
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.
Experiencing anxiousness before and during your time in the spotlight is normal, but it’s also unproductive. Your best bet is to take a more comprehensive approach to public speaking. Before your next engagement, practice following these important guidelines. You will find that your confidence is improved and that you are better able to communicate your message.