Eventually, you will need to speak before a crowd. No matter the audience, your delivery must be right. The compilation of tips below will improve your skill so you’re able to confidently speak in public.
Do your best to memorize your speech. After you know the words, work on how it comes across. With your speech firmly implanted in your mind, it will be much easier to naturally ad lib when you finally give it.
You should know the speech you are giving. If you have your speech committed to memory, it is still very important to understand the topic completely so you can tell stories or jokes related to it. Use them when needed to bolster your persuasiveness. It will also make you better prepared for any questions.
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.
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.
If public speaking makes you anxious, practice doing deep breathing. First, take a deep breath and hold it for about three seconds. Then exhale very slowly. Do this a few times, and you’ll see that it does help. Breathe in for a count of four, and then breathe out for a count of five. Do this approximately five times to feel a difference in how calm you feel.
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.
When you know ahead of time that you will be speaking in public, dress appropriately. You can dress down if you are speaking to a group of children at a summer camp, but dress more formally if you are making remarks at a business luncheon. Avoid flashy colors and distracting accessories. You want the audience to pay attention to your message rather than to your clothing or jewelry.
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.
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.
Many people start a speech with a joke in order to grab the audience’s attention, so keep this in mind as you are figuring out what to say. If you are going to tell a joke, make sure that it is tasteful and on topic. Otherwise, you risk alienated some of them.
Do your best to deliver unique information to your audience instead of telling them things they could have easily gotten from someone else. You need to make it clear that it is you that they need to listen to. Do research to make sure that you are not giving them duplicated content.
Strong, confident voices are key when it comes to addressing large groups. Have some water on hand so that you can refresh yourself if necessary. Avoid drinking sodas or dairy beverages the day of your speech. They can make your saliva thick, and this can coat your throat with mucous that inhibits your speaking ability. Drink tea before giving a speech.
Don’t make people hold their questions until the conclusion of the speech. This will prevent people from forgetting what they wanted to ask you. You will garner much more appreciation from your listeners if you permit interruptions, so let them fire away with questions.
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.
When you are making eye contact with your audience, try not to let your eyes dance around too much. Make eye contact with one person while you finish a sentence. You can engage your audience better this way. It will also make your points seem more forceful when you direct it to an individual.
Ensure that you are thinking positively before making your speech. Feeling a bit nervous is perfectly ok. There are so many other people who feel the same way before public speaking, too. Don’t think negatively, though. If you start thinking about failing, chances are you will fail. Believe that you will give a great speech, and you probably will.
Be sure to practice public speaking out loud. It may sound simple, but a lot of people tend to practice in their head. They speak the words internally instead of speaking out loud. This can cause all sorts of issues the day of your speech. Get used to hearing your voice, so it doesn’t throw you.
You don’t need to be a good actor or politician to give great presentations or speeches. Being prepared and confident are the most important parts of giving a good speech. You may find that these public speaking tips actually improve the way you communicate both behind and away from the podium.