The whole process of speaking in public makes some people worried and overwhelmed. Between figuring out what you will say to overcoming your nerves, it is important to keep your cool and have a plan. The article that follows will provide you with some tips to make public speaking a breeze for you.
Be as familiar as possible with your material. It’s good to have figures, facts, and stories about your topic that you can bring up with ease. This will help you to engage the audience. Have a question session at the end of your speech.
Always make sure to look at your audience. While it can be easy to get distracted by other things around you, don’t! Your audience should have your complete and focused attention.
Practice some deep breathing to help you through your speech. Controlling your breathing will reduce your level of stress. Breathe through your nose and count to four, then exhale counting to five. Repeat this set six times to enhance your calm.
Practicing is the best way to ensure that you know what you are going to say. Practice before a mirror or even video yourself so that you see where you can improve. However, it is always best to prepare your speech in front of family and friends, since instant feedback is the best.
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.
To increase your effectiveness as a public speaker, maintain good posture when you speak. To inspire confidence you should stand comfortably upright and avoid common posture problems such as slouching or leaning to one side during the presentation. If you don’t intend to use gestures keep your hands in a neutral position, either straight down at your sides or in front of the body with one hand over the other at about navel height. Hold the attention of your audience by adopting a calm and upright demeanor.
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.
Be sure to use appropriate visual aids to make your speech more interesting. A picture or an object is worth a thousand words and can add depth and dimension to your presentation. Be creative in your choices of visual aids. Photos, paintings, sculpture, souvenirs, charts, graphs and many other types of objects can help you get your point across clearly.
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.
Videotape a couple of practice sessions of your public speaking engagements. When you can see yourself in action this way, you can easily see what you can improve upon. It may be the way you move your hands or the expression on your face. Seeing this on film gives you a more objective perspective.
Do not make apologies. Apologizing for being nervous, repeating yourself, stuttering or making any other kind of mistake only draws attention to it. It also makes you and your audience unnecessarily uncomfortable. Keep speaking and try to recover from any mistakes to keep your audience at ease and interested.
Do not wait until you are done to allow questions. They may forget what it is that they want to ask. You will garner much more appreciation from your listeners if you permit interruptions, so let them fire away with questions.
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.
Try watching professional public speakers. You can learn a lot from people that are famous for their public speaking abilities. Take note of how they speak and how they engage the audience. Figure out what it is that makes them successful. Try incorporating some of their habits and styles in your own speeches.
Avoid letting the audience know how nervous you are prior to delivering your speech. Your speech will be more meaningful without the audience knowing that. Though you may believe the audience can see your fears, they can not. It is best to allow the audience to believe that you are fully in command and confident, even if you feel like butterflies are battling it out in your stomach.
Say hello when you step up to the podium. This goes for any type of audience. If you are dealing with a large audience, walk through the crowd and try to shake some hands. If there are only a few audience members, greet each person individually. It will create a more relaxed atmosphere.
Always begin a eulogy with a moment of silence. This allows you to take a deep breath and compose yourself. Be sure to say a few nice things about the deceased followed by something to inspire and uplift the mourners. End on an appropriately positive note that will give the survivors hope for the future.
The above article has proven that public speaking is not something you need to fear. In fact, the process will be a cinch if you set up a plan and follow through with it. You have been given some ideas above; be sure to use them as part of your plan.