Does the idea of giving a speech make your hands sweat and your heart race? Do you hide in fear when in situations where public speaking may be required? There really is no need to continue your dread of speaking before others as long as you are prepared to take the following advice seriously.
Sometimes, people will not follow what you are speaking about. Therefore, you must be very clear and to the point if you want to engage them. You are performing for them, and speaking confidently to win them over is key to achieving the desired results.
It is important that everything you say during your speech is related to the topic. Even if you are going to tell jokes, they should be related in some way. This will help keep the audience focused on the subject at hand and prevent things from going too far off course.
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.
Find one person in the crowd who looks trustworthy and focus on them. Pretend like the two of you are the only people in the room. A major reason why people are scared of speaking in public is because of the amount of people in the room. If you just focus on one person, you will forget anyone else is there.
Practice makes perfect. Practice as often as you need to in order to perfect the speech. Learn to breath with ease and pace your delivery. Make sure that your speech time allows some open space for interruptions, which are hopefully rounds of applause. When you can, practice using your speech equipment.
Deep breathing can help curb your anxiety. Deep breathing can be tremendously helpful at controlling nerves. Use a count of four to breathe through the nose, and then a five count to breathe through the mouth. You’ll feel yourself relaxing after you do this five or six times.
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.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making your speech even if they are available at the event at which you are speaking. While alcohol may relax you, you do not want to appear inebriated when you make your speech. You may forget what you want to say, slur your speech, inadvertently insult someone or even become sick in the midst of speaking if you drink too much. Save the liquor for your post-speech celebration.
If you use a computer program to present pictures and information, be sure that you know how to operate it. The last thing you want is to waste the time when you are supposed to be speaking with a lot of computer fiddling. Practice your speech and your visual aids presentation thoroughly.
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.
When giving a public speech or presentation do not include too many pieces of information. Filling your speech with too much information will overload your audience and be perceived as boring. A helpful speech will include a few important pieces of information conveyed simply and clearly. So, always edit your speeches to a handful of key ideas for best effect.
Take a look at the venue where you are scheduled to give a speech prior to the event. This will give you a good idea of where the audience will be sitting and where you will be speaking. It will help set you at ease when you get there since the place will be a bit familiar.
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.
Ensure that you are thinking positively before making your speech. It’s okay to feel nervous. Most people will feel this way. It is not okay if you are thinking negatively. Negative thoughts will negatively impact your speech. Think positively and you will do great.
Start your speech off with a good story to establish audience connection. You can use something personal to you or a popular news story. Help your audience empathize an understand by adding an appealing human element to the story. Avoid inappropriate or offensive anecdotes when you create your story.
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.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you fled rather than risk having to speak in front of others? If so, you need to take control. Use the information and guidance presented above whenever necessary and make a conscious decision to become a skilled, confident public speaker staring now.