Speaking in public is high on the list of what people fear the most. Some find it more frightening than the prospect of death. Given how much people fear it, you’d be smart to take steps to handle it. Use the tips in this article to address your issues with public speaking.
When preparing to speak in public, make sure to memorize your words well in advance. Once you have your speech memorized, then the delivery method you choose can be worked on. Memorizing the speech itself also frees you up for improvisation later on.
Make sure you know your material completely. Have a broad general knowledge of the topic including statistics, facts and anecdotes. Work them in where you think they fit and will engage your current audience. They are also useful while answering questions from the audience on in follow up conversations.
Be aware of who your audience really is. If you can, try to learn who will be listening to you. If it’s possible, try greeting them as they arrive and take the time to learn their names. This will give the event a more personal atmosphere.
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. Breathe in for a count of four, and then breathe out for a count of five. Do this approximately five times to feel a difference in how calm you feel.
Prior to getting up and speaking, try and connect with the audience. Be available to shake some hands and smile as people enter the room. Emitting positivity in advance will cause them to listen to your remarks.
Rehearse your speech every day. You will start to know the material very well, which should help you feel better about the speech as a whole. Although you may have your speech memorized, you should always take your notes to the podium with you. Thus, if you lose your way, you will be able to quickly take a look and get on the right track.
After you have written your speech, be sure to practice it until you have memorized it. Practice in front of a mirror where you can try using various hand gestures and facial expressions to help make your points. Try getting feedback from family when doing dry runs of speeches for them. They will be able suggest ways to make the speech even better.
If you want people to remember your speech, try to make the ending as memorable as possible. This is what people are going to remember the most. Ending on a boring note isn’t going to lodge your speech into long-term memories.
Never apologize for being nervous. Even though you might feel as if the audience thinks you are saying something stupid, chances are they don’t even realize it. Correct mistakes you make and move on.
It’s important to speak clearly and use a strong voice. Keep water near you when you are speaking. When you know you have to give a public speech, stay away from dairy drinks and sodas on that day. These beverages will make your saliva thicker. Hot tea will help relax the vocal cords.
It’s easy to see why so many people are more afraid of making a speech than passing into the next life. However, you can overcome your fears of speaking before groups. These tips can help you get a handle on your situation.
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.