Lots of folks dread the thought of speaking to crowds. They tend to avoid these engagements. However, sometimes that just isn’t possible. If you fear doing public speaking or doubt your skills and wish to improve, keep reading.
When you speak in public, remember that people will not automatically follow what you say. Getting the attention of an audience isn’t always easy and keeping it can be even harder. You are performing for them, and speaking confidently to win them over is key to achieving the desired results.
Practice your speech and time how long it takes. This gives you the opportunity to make edits so you can fit within your allotted speaking time. If you find your speech is not long enough, research to find more information. Don’t rush during the speech.
Time yourself to find out how long your speech is. This will give you the ability to stay on course. If the speech is not long enough, add more time by finding more information. Never rush when delivering a speech.
Before you do anything else, memorize your speech when you are getting ready to deliver a presentation. After you can say it from memory, figure out how you want the delivery to go. Having it memorized ahead of time can help you learn how to comfortably ad lib when in public.
Always face your audience during your speech. Don’t allow anything to distract you, no matter what may be going on around the room or auditorium. If you are distracted, your audience will be also.
Always look at your audience when you are speaking in public. Avoid becoming distracted. Remember that you need to get your point across, and you won’t do this unless you let your audience know your attention is on them.
Practice makes perfect. This will allow you time to tweak the speech if needed. In addition, practice breathing and controlling the pace of the speech. Make sure to allow a little extra time for applause during your speech. If you can, do a trial run of the speech in the same room that you will be delivering it to an audience.
Do your homework on the topic you are presenting on. Research broadly to get a full understanding of the topic at hand. Then, narrow in on individual points, and back them up with carefully crafted remarks. Being prepared will help when you have to answer questions from the audience.
Try some deep breathing exercises to get over nerves when speaking in public. Taking a few deep breaths and exhaling completely before you begin your speech will help you get your nerves under control. Use a count of four to breathe through the nose, and then a five count to breathe through the mouth. Do this six times, and calm will be yours.
It is important to have your main, broad concept clear in mind before writing your speech. This will help you to become more comfortable. Then, write down the key points you want to touch on during your speech. Doing so will help you when it comes time to answer questions.
Get the audience in your corner prior to giving your speech. Smile cordially at them when they are seating themselves, and shake hands with them if possible. This will make the audience members more receptive to your speech.
Prepare your speech by practicing it daily. This will help you increase your confidence. No matter how well you know the speech, make sure to bring your notes with you. This will prevent any fumbling for words, if you happen to forget a few lines.
Once your speech is prepared, practice it often to the point that you have it mostly memorized. Try practicing in the mirror and use different facial expressions and hand motions. Ask your friends and relations to listen to your speech and provide feedback. They could offer suggestions for content improvement, or for how it is delivered.
Be aware of the audience you are speaking in front of. If you can, learn who the individuals are who are expected to attend. If possible, greet them as they enter and ask their name. Practice their names in your mind. Having some familiarity with some of your audience members can make it seem more friendly.
A great way to close your speech and have people remember it, is to have a good ending. Although the whole speech is important, what people remember the most is the ending. If you end on a boring note, your speech will be remembered as boring.
If necessary, use note cards. Even though it is best that you memorize your speech, keeping a hard copy of it close by is a good idea. You don’t have to have the speech in its entirety before you as you stand at the podium, but your key points should at least be jotted down.
Don’t apologize for being nervous or making mistakes. Even if you believe you are making many mistakes, the audience might not even notice. Correct mistakes you make and move on.
A good way to become a great public speaker is to tell true stories when possible. Before you give a speech, make an outline. Give a good introduction and conclusion to surround the story. Base your story on something that happened in real life.
Strong, confident voices are key when it comes to addressing large groups. If you can, try to have some water nearby when you speak. Don’t drink soda pop or milk products the day you speak. They can make your saliva thick, and this can coat your throat with mucous that inhibits your speaking ability. Drinking hot tea before a speech will help to relax the vocal cords.
It is possible to teach yourself to be a good speaker. Having this ability is learned through good techniques and practice. The more practicing you do, the better your skills will become. Keep in mind all this advice the next time you are required to speak in public. Hopefully, it won’t be so bad.