It doesn’t matter what your occupation is, sooner or later you are going to need public speaking skills. No matter whom you need to address, you very much need the ability to get your thoughts out to them in a way that makes others listen, understand and persuade them, when necessary. The tips that follow will help you learn how to communicate more effectively when giving a speech.
Use a timer when you practice so you can verify the length of your speech. This way, you can cut it down or add to it if needed. Find more information if you need to make your speech longer. Finally, don’t rush when speaking.
Do your best to memorize your speech. After you’re able to recite completely from memory, then it’s time to polish up on your delivery. You will be more comfortable on stage when you have memorized your speech.
When you speak in public, it is important to be prepared in order to make a great impression. Know what you want to say. Research your topic fully. Jot down notes on what you would like to say. Rehearse your comments until you master them. Preparation allows you to be more at ease.
Take the time to really know the material in your speech. While memorizing your speech is important, it’s just as important to know other facts and figures or even stories and jokes as they relate to your subject matter This will help you to engage the audience. It will also make you better prepared for any questions.
You need to be very comfortable with the subject of your speech. Research broadly to get a full understanding of the topic at hand. Think through what you want to say, and put those thoughts down on paper so you can follow your own train of thought. The time spent preparing will pay dividends once you start receiving questions.
If you inadvertently skipped a sentence, keep going. If you get flustered and try and go back, you could confuse your audience. In addition, others are unlikely to recognize the omission if you don’t draw attention to the issue.
Learn how to do some deep breathing in order to calm your nerves before speaking publicly. First, take a deep breath and hold it for about three seconds. Then exhale very slowly. Do this a few times, and you’ll see that it does help. Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of five. You’ll feel yourself relaxing after you do this five or six times.
Practice your speech as much as you possibly can. You can practice in front of a mirror or record your speech so that you can critique it to see areas that you can improve. Also, get feedback from friends by practicing your speech for them.
Prior to launching into your material, try to win over the crowd. Smile and shake some hands when you enter the room. If you are positive, your audience will be interested in your speech.
You should practice your speech regularly. You will start to know the material very well, which should help you feel better about the speech as a whole. Even if your speech is memorized, it’s still worth bringing some notes when you actually deliver the speech. This will give you peace of mind because you will be able to peek at your notes should you forget what you’re about to say.
Practice your speech over and over until you can give it without looking at your notes. Do it in front of the bathroom mirror and watch yourself. Get feedback from family members or friends by doing a dry run for them. They could offer suggestions for content improvement, or for how it is delivered.
Give a great ending to your speech. Even though the entire speech is very important, a quality ending is usually what people remember the most. Having a good ending will keep your speech in their minds.
When you are speaking before a large group, make sure your voice is strong and clear so you will be heard. Have some water on hand so that you can refresh yourself if necessary. Try to steer clear of soda or milk prior to your speaking engagement. These fluids can stimulate the production of mucous and inhibit saliva production. A cup of hot tea before your speech helps to relax your vocal cords.
Be certain you have visual aids that are not the main attraction. You only want them to help enhance your speech. Do not let it be overwhelming. Try to use visual aids as much as possible. This will help to keep your speech fun and enticing.
Picture your upcoming speech in your head. Picture the actual speech in your head and the audience’s reaction. Watching yourself speak and hearing the listeners react well can help you feel more prepared for the actual event.
Never make listeners wait until the speech ends to ask their questions. This will prevent people from forgetting what they wanted to ask you. The audience will appreciate that you are accommodating their needs.
Never just “wing it” when it comes to giving an important speech. This can be a bad idea, even if you feel you know everything about the topic. You might give an okay speech. After the speech, you are likely to feel bad about it knowing that you left important pieces of information out.
Make sure you are in a good mental state. It’s okay to feel nervous. There isn’t a person alive who does not feel nervous before giving a speech. Avoid negative thinking about yourself and your performance. If you’re certain you can’t get that important speech delivered with gusto, you probably cannot. Think positively and you will do well.
Clearly, you must have good public speaking skills to successfully climb the business world ladder. When speaking in public, the goal is to persuade the audience of something and obtain desired results. Using the tips above can help you accomplish that when speaking.
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.