It is impossible to dispute the fact that public speaking is something many fear and even dread. The nervousness and rapid heart beat that accompany the task make countless individuals dodge the task whenever possible. However, by using the advice found below, it is easy for anyone to conquer their concerns once and for all.
Make sure that you stay focused once you get out there and start talking. Your message will not be received well if you go too far off topic. Do everything you can to stay on the original topic, or you may risk scaring away a large portion of your audience.
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.
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.
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.
If you will be speaking for a long time, be sure to have a glass of water handy on the podium. It is also a good idea to have a stool behind the podium so you can perch occasionally if you get too tired. Wear comfortable shoes so that you will be able to concentrate on your speech rather than your feet.
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.
Do not try to impress your audience by using overly complicated vocabulary. Some people do this because they want to show off how smart they are. The only thing that this will do is confuse a lot of people since they will have no idea what it is you are trying to say.
Try to find humor in the situation if things do not go as planned. There are many variables when you speak in public, which means that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. The microphone or projector may not work, there may be an interruption in power or someone may enter the room in the midst of your speech. Try to take things in stride. Taking things too seriously can result in you having a meltdown, so try to laugh off any issues that may arise.
Always leave your audience wanting more. Nothing is worse than a speaker who drones on and on for what seems like hours. Instead, get your information delivered in a timely fashion. Keep the speech within the requested time parameters. However, do not keep your speech so short that you do not give your audience the information that they desire.
Don’t wing it. Regardless of your knowledge base, doing so is sure to end in disaster. It might be possible to give an adequate speech. However, your speech will be so much better if you bother to prepare for it.
One way to better your public speaking skills is by gaining experience in public speaking. After you have groups of people sit through a couple of your speeches and respond positively to them, you will start gaining authority status. This can boost your confidence and help you become a better speaker.
If you are scheduled to make a speech, arrive at your venue at least half an hour early. This will give you a chance to set up, to practice and perhaps to relax a bit. If you rush in just a few minutes before your speech, you will not have time to prepare.
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.
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.
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.
When you are done speaking, be prepared to answer questions that the audience asks. If you want your audience to have time for asking questions, then only use about 75% of your given speaking time for the actual speech. Answer questions in a concise manner so that more people can get in on the action.
Public speaking is something that many enjoy, but innumerable others truly hate doing. The best way to overcome the worry that washes over so many is to apply some time-tested techniques. By heeding the guidance presented above, there is no reason to avoid public speaking ever again because it can be lots of fun.