It is not uncommon for people to feel a sense of dread when they are asked to speak in public. Standing in front of a crowd of strangers and delivering a speech can be difficult even for experienced speakers. To make this task easier, use the following advice on public speaking.
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.
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.
If you notice that you left something out, simply press on. If you stop and backtrack and try to correct your error, you will end up with a big mess. In addition, others are unlikely to recognize the omission if you don’t draw attention to the issue.
Arrive half an hour early for your speaking engagement so that you can familiarize yourself with the room. Determine where you will be during the presentation. Figure out what path you will take to get to the podium. Be sure to have a glass of water placed on the podium. By taking care of these small details, you will feel more comfortable while speaking.
Always wear comfortable clothes for a speaking engagement. Even if you must wear a suit or formal dress, be sure your clothing fits properly and does not make you feel too hot. Choose modest clothing for speaking in public, and make sure all fasteners and buttons hold securely so that you do not experience wardrobe malfunction.
If you must do a lot of extemporaneous speaking, be sure to keep up on current events and topics of interest. In this way, you will always have something new and interesting to say. Remember that it is usually best to choose a complimentary approach rather than a humorous one unless you are extremely sure of your ability to amuse people!
Never hold a deep conversation with someone just because they are sitting in one of the front rows. When you are speaking in public, everyone should be just as important to you. Make sure that every single person in the room is fully aware of everything that is being said.
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.
Prior to giving your actual speech, practice it in front of a loved one. When you are done, ask them which parts of the speech are fine and which parts need some improvement. You may even want to read it to a few people. This feedback can help improve your speech.
Note cards really can be helpful. You should certainly memorize your speech, but it is helpful to have notes with you as well. Having the main points on note cards will help you get through the speech.
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.
Don’t leap right into your topic. Be sure to start your speech with a nice greeting for your audience. This will help put everyone at ease. It also gives you a chance to settle into position and prepare yourself to speak. Of course, it is also simply the most polite thing to do.
Try your best to convey emotions as you speak to your audience. If you are monotone, this will only make people bored and they will stop listening to you. While you don’t have to bounce of the walls to let them know you have energy, it is important that you show some type of feeling.
To improve your public speaking skills, take tips from professionals. Many public figures give moving and effective speeches, but so do other, less-prominent people. Watch people who give speeches to see what techniques work well for them. Try to incorporate those techniques to improve your own public speaking. Likewise, notice things that others do during speeches that do not work or that detract from their message, and avoid doing those things.
Look up great speeches on the internet to view. Take the time to watch them and observe what it is that they do that makes their speech so amazing. They may have had professional coaches or speech writers but you can find people to help ou write yours and coach you too.
Ask your friends to help you prepare for public speaking. Get four or five of them together, and present your speech as you would in front of the larger group you are preparing for. It’s essential to get used to having other people in the room while you speak.
Consider using handouts to enhance your speech. This depends, of course, on the purpose of your speech and your audience, but handouts can help your audience remember the salient points you made. Handouts allow your audience to pay attention while you speak rather than trying to take notes during the presentation.
Being able to deliver a speech in public is a very valuable skill to possess. You never know when you might be called upon to speak in public, and the advice that you have read here will help you do so successfully. Keep it in mind if you find yourself in a position where you have to address a crowd.