Do you feel nervous when you have to give a speech? You are not alone. Many people struggle with public speaking every day. The key to public speaking is knowing how to calm those nerves and give a wonderful speech. Use the following tips to help you do just that.
Know your surroundings. Take a few moments when you arrive to acquaint yourself with your surroundings. If you can arrive early, go to the podium and do a soundcheck before your audience arrives. If you have visual aids, practice using them while you are orientating yourself with your surroundings.
Practice your speech as much as you can. This will allow you time to tweak the speech if needed. Practice your pace and breathing. Ensure your speech time can include time for interruptions, which will be applause, with any luck. If you can, try to practice using the podium and other equipment you’ll be using when you make the real speech.
To help boost your confidence level imagine giving your speech to a crowd who is anxious to hear your speech. Imagine the audience standing to their feet giving you a standing ovation when you complete your speech. This will help you feel confident when the time comes to deliver your speech.
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.
After your speech is written, practice it often. You want to know the speech inside and out. It’s best to practice while looking in the mirror. This way, you can figure out which facial expressions and gestures work best. Also consider asking a close friend or family member for a little feedback. This will assist you as you make important improvements and get ready to deliver your speech.
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.
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.
One of the best ways to learn is to watch. Do a little research. Think about the best public speakers in history, then watch videos of them making speeches. You can learn a lot when you focus on their mannerisms and the way they address the audience. Try to emulate those skills.
When it comes time to make a speech in a public place, try to arrive early. This can help you become better acquainted with your surroundings. Getting familiar with the layout of the room, the microphones, and the other speech aids that are available in that room can help you become more relaxed before speaking.
Be familiar with the environment in which you are speaking. Arrive early so that you can look over the room and set up and check any equipment you are using. Practice using any audio-visual aids so that you know how they work and you know they are in working order. This helps you avoid an embarrassing issues with equipment and provides you with more self confidence.
Believe in yourself. If you think you will do well, you are more likely to do well. If you think you will fall flat on your face, that is something that is more likely to occur. Try to banish negative thoughts from your mind and envision yourself delivering a perfect speech.
Practice as often as you can before it is time to speak to the crowd. Practice in front of a mirror and make changes if anything sounds awkward. Then, use people in your life as test subjects and ask them for a critique. Practicing your speech helps you perfect the words and the delivery.
Gesture naturally as you would in conversation. Don’t try to learn gestures from others. Be yourself. Move around a bit while you are onstage, especially if your presentation is lengthy. This will help keep both you and your audience from being bored. If you are being filmed, try not to dash around too quickly!
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.
Know what your strengths are. Frame your speech around your strengths. For example, if you can tell a great story, tell one that your audience will enjoy. Find a way to incorporate the story into your speech in such a way that it flows seamlessly into the presentation of the facts you need to get across.
Lessen your anxiety about public speaking by thinking of your audience as a single entity. Don’t focus on the fact that there are 50 people in the room. Instead, visualize yourself speaking with only one or two people. This strategy is most effective when the audience is comprised of members with similar backgrounds, expectations, and understanding of the subject matter.
If you are one of many people who get nervous in front of a crowd, do not despair. Many great public speakers deal with the same problem. Luckily, there is a way around it. Use the tips above to help you prepare yourself to make the best speech of your life.