Though there are certainly some people with a natural knack for public speaking, many more seem to live in fear of being called upon to get up in front of others in this way. However, by reviewing some key concepts, it is quite possible to make public speaking something to love, not dread. The article below should help.
When you are speaking in public, there is usually a time frame that you need to stick to. Make sure that you get to your key points before your time is up. Otherwise, you will have wasted all of our time since the audience will not have received the message you were trying to deliver.
Love your topic. To help you be able to talk confidently when speaking in front of others, choose a topic that you know a lot about. Include tidbits of information that is not commonly known to keep your audience engaged. Finally, speak in a conversational tone to help you remain calm and composed.
Know the audience that you will be speaking to. To help you get to know the audience, greet people as they enter and engage them in some conversation. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable when you go to the podium. It is much easier to speak to people you know.
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.
Take a look at the environment you are about to speak in. Find out if there is a microphone. Practice using the equipment before the event. If there are visual aids, learn to use them. Look at how far away the entire audience will be.
If you are nervous when you first stand up to speak, there are a couple of things you can do. Either choose a person toward the center of the audience to focus on or focus on a point at the back of the room. An EXIT sign is a good choice. This will help calm your nerves.
Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviors serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern.
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.
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.
Practice meditation to prepare for your speech. Imagine yourself doing well, feeling comfortable, speaking clearly and enjoying yourself. Imagine that your audience is interested and appreciates what you are saying. When you take the time to imagine a good experience, you greatly increase your chances of actually having a good experience.
Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake during your presentation. Unless the information given wrongly is important do not correct your mistake. Instead, continue on with your speech like nothing has happened. If you need to correct the mistake you made, apologize and correct the mistake and continue on.
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.
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.
If there are problems with the lighting, the sound equipment or anything else, take it in stride. Don’t get angry or overwhelmed. Stay dignified and helpful until the problem is resolved. Pick up your speech where you left off and just move forward. People will remember your grace under pressure.
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.
Lots of folks hate the idea of having to speak to a group. But, armed with the information presented in the piece above, nobody should worry too much the next time the need does arise. Refer to these materials often, and speaking to groups will become easier than it ever seemed possible.