Is public speaking something you are interested in understanding better? This is daunting for lots of folks. Still, addressing and conquering the fear is a part of life. The truth is that most people make the choice to allow the fear to control them, and it doesn’t have to be that way. The following tips will help you.
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. Knowing your speech by heart will also enable you to ad lib if necessary, once you’re at the podium.
Being a good public speaker requires lots of preparation. Understand exactly what you are planning to say. Research if you need support for your statements. Write down everything you are going to say. Go over them each day until you can confidently speak it from memory. Solid preparation gives you confidence for the speech itself.
If you talk about something that really happened in your speech, it will make it more meaningful. Give a brief description of your story beforehand. It should have a beginning, middle, and ending that is clear so that you get your ideas out better. Be sure you use true life events in order to sound really authentic.
If you accidentally skip part of your speech, roll with it. Stopping during the speech to return to the point may cause you to go off the rails. Also, your audience probably won’t notice you omitted anything, unless you draw attention to the fact.
Deep breathing can really help to calm your fears before a public speaking engagement. Before you start to speak, breath deeply a few times and then exhale. Inhale and count to four, then exhale and count to five. Repeat this process six times, and soon you will feel more at ease.
Practice your speech as much as you possibly can. Practice before a mirror or even video yourself so that you see where you can improve. However, also make sure you practice in front of a live audience to get constructive feedback.
Avoid drinking alcohol before your speech. You may be tempted to consume a little liquid courage, but it is not a good idea. Your speech will be ruined if you’re drunk and forget what you wanted to say.
Know your material inside and out, and confidence will follow. Talk about something that you like and that you already know a little about. Keep your tone conversational and you’ll impress your audience with your knowledge instead of confusing them with complicated jargon.
Make sure to make your audience your ally. Smile towards them when you enter. Shake a few hands if you can. Presenting yourself in a positive light before your speech prepares the audience to listen to you with interest.
Note cards really can be helpful. While you should commit your speech to memory, keep a written copy handy in case you lose your place. Your entire speech need not be written out, but make note cards on the key points to make sure you do not forget anything.
No matter how anxious or mixed-up you may get during a speech, never make an apology. You feel as though you’re a fool, but the audience might not notice. If you make mistakes, correct them and move on. You don’t need to apologize for anything.
A strong, clear voice is critical when speaking to large groups. Have some water on hand so that you can refresh yourself if necessary. Avoid drinking dairy beverages or sodas the day you’re giving the speech. Beverages such as these cause your saliva to thicken and can cause your body to produce excess mucous. Try drinking hot tea before you speak to get your vocal cords to relax.
Don’t let your visual aids be so eye-catching that they distract from you. You want them to enhance what you are saying. You don’t want them to take over. Use high quality visual aids to make key points. They need to be appealing and bright, but not distracting.
Before you deliver the speech, visualize you successfully delivering your speech. Visualize how the audience reacts to your speech. You will feel more prepared if you have imagined yourself giving a very successful speech.
It’s always a good idea to warm the audience up before giving your presentation. You don’t have to tell a joke. You can talk about something from your life experience that you think is relevant to the topic. Remember this step so you can connect with the crowd.
If you want your speech to resonate with your audience, start it with a story. You can use something personal to you or a popular news story. Putting a human touch on the story will have the audience members relate to what your saying, and have their attention. When coming up with a narrative, do not include any anecdote that people might find inappropriate or offensive.
If you are nervous, picture yourself as a member of the audience. Would you laugh at any mistakes the speaker makes? Would you suddenly assume they were a horrible speaker because of a simple mistake? Remember that mistakes are okay. In most cases, everyone will understand.
Now you should feel more comfortable about public speaking. You will be able to speak before an audience without feeling anxious or afraid. Practice the tips shared here and speak in public with more confidence. This will help you to overcome your fears.
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.