Unless you are a professional speaker, you most likely find the prospect of delivering a speech to be frightening. You aren’t the only one. Some people do not do well in front of audiences. But, it’s possible to make public speaking simpler. The following tips will help you improve your public speaking skills.
Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
Never tell the audience that you’re sorry for being nervous or any other issue that comes up. Chances are they didn’t even notice in the first place. Even if they do, coming across as lacking in confidence detracts from your position of authority on your speech that you are making.
If you will be speaking in public, watch some video footage of some of the most famous speeches. Study their delivery of the speech, what information was included in the speech and how they actively engaged their audience. Then, use this information to help you deliver an unforgettable speech.
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.
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.
Take your time while delivering your speech. One sure fired way for the audience to know that you are nervous is to rush through your speech. Instead, take a deep breath and calm your nerves before beginning. Speak slightly slower than normal when giving a speech to ensure that your audience understands what you are saying.
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.
When you speak to a large group, it is essential for you to have a voice that is clear and strong. If you can, keep water near you when making your speech. Also consider avoiding dairy and carbonated beverages the day you’ll be giving your speech. These fluids can produce mucous or thicken saliva. Have a nice mug of hot tea to ease your vocal chords.
Be familiar with your audience, and tailor your remarks to them. If you are speaking to children, you will have a different message and style than if you are speaking to a group of executives. Doing a bit of research about the group you are addressing can help you come up with a suitable message and style for your speech.
Keep things in perspective. Things do not always go as planned, but that does not necessarily mean that your speech is not effective or well-received. Whether you trip over a cord or forget your next line, it is not the end of the world. If you do not make a big deal of it, most people will probably not even remember that it happened. Regain your poise, and continue with your speech.
Make sure that you have a strong start to your speech since this is the best way to engage the audience. You should try relating a relevant, personal story or telling an anecdote. This is a great way to warm up the crowd and get the ready to hear the main message.
Always know the audience you’re speaking to before giving a speech. Different audiences will expect different speeches. Colleagues would like to learn from your speech. Family and friends may just be looking to be entertained. Regardless of who you are talking to, try to address their needs.
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.
Don’t tell the people how afraid you are. Confessing that you are nervous will make your audience lose confidence in you. It is often the case that a speaker believes their fear is showing through, but it usually is not. Hold yourself as though you have pride in your presentation.
Visit your venue a few days in advance to get the lay of the land. Being familiar with the room where you will speak will make everything easier and more comfortable. On the day of the event, be sure to arrive early to socialize with members of your audience and begin creating a connection.
Get a better feel for your public speaking abilities by recording yourself as you rehearse your speech. You may find that certain gestures or facial expressions enhance or detract from your message. For example, you might notice unconscious movements or repetition that could distract your audience from hearing your message.
Since reading the piece above, you are more prepared for public speaking. The previous advice should be helpful. They will boost your confidence and make you feel capable of giving a great speech. There is no reason to let a public speech make you feel any fear.