Most people rate public speaking as one of their top fears. Some people feel they would rather die. Given how much people fear it, you’d be smart to take steps to handle it. Break down your public speaking problems with the following ideas and advice.
After writing a speech, time yourself. This way, you can cut it down or add to it if needed. If you find that your speech is very short, consider beefing it up with a little research. In addition, make sure that you don’t speak too quickly when delivering your speech.
Make sure your speech is memorized. Once you are able to give your speech without looking at your notes, you can start to perfect your delivery. This also gives you the opportunity to ad lib if you need to.
Face you audience at all times when you are giving a speech. This will limit the amount of distractions that you have. It is important that the audience has your undivided attention, in order for them to get the message that you would like them to get.
Practice makes perfect. This will allow you time to tweak the speech if needed. Work on your pace and your breathing. Leave time for interruptions like laughter and applause. If at all possible, you should practice giving your speech using the equipment that will be used.
Take a look at the environment you are about to speak in. Test the acoustics and the mic to see how much you have to project. Practice with the equipment to learn how it operates. Use visual aids effectively. Get a good feel for the best ways to make and hold eye contact with your audience too.
An excellent way to calm nerves before public speaking is by breathing deeply. Deep breathing can be tremendously helpful at controlling nerves. Breath in and out very slowly, counting to four or five on each inhale and exhale. You’ll feel calm if you repeat this six times.
Practice really does make perfect. Try giving your speech while looking in a mirror, or record it and play it back to find out how to make it better. A practice run in front of objective friends or loved ones lets them have a chance to offer constructive criticism.
Never take a drink of alcohol prior to making a public speech. Although it may seem like a good idea to help bolster your confidence, it is a bad idea. Many great speeches turned bad from too much alcohol; don’t make yours one of them.
Make sure to focus on getting your audience’s attention early on. Greet them and shake their hands or smile at them. The audience is sure to show appreciation if you have a great attitude.
After preparing your speech, practice frequently and thoroughly to commit it to memory. It may be a good idea to recite it in front of the mirror so you can see how others will view you. Ask family members for feedback after practicing your speech before them. They could offer suggestions for content improvement, or for how it is delivered.
This article previously mentioned that speaking in public is a top fear listed by so many people. However, public speaking is an important skill, and it is important to overcome any fears you might have related to this skill. Use the ideas and advice within this article to master your speaking in front of groups.
Onaolapo Adeyemi is a travel and technology writer. If he’s not on tour, you’ll find him in New York with his wife, and pet parrot hanging out at Starbucks.