Most individuals do not go through life without having to speak to a crowd at least once. No matter the audience, your delivery must be right. The following public speaking tips will help improve your skills and techniques when in front of any type of crowd.
Regardless of how much experience you have, it is never easy to get an audience involved with what you’re saying. You must work hard to get their attention and even harder to keep it. Public speaking is a performance, and it takes work to get real results.
Utilize a timer to determine the length of your speech. That way, you can make edits to stay within the allotted time. If you find that your speech is very short, consider beefing it up with a little research. The final tip is to avoid rushing through your speech.
When getting ready to make a speech, learn the words of the actual speech first. After you know the words, work on how it comes across. You will be more comfortable on stage when you have memorized your speech.
Take the time to really know the material in your speech. Regardless of whether you have the words memorized, it is still important to know random facts about the material. Pay attention to how your audience is responding. This can also reinforce your speech when answering questions or providing follow up conversations.
Practice your speech once it’s memorized. Practice it frequently, and make adjustments as you see fit. Try to maintain calm breathing during the speech. Be certain your speech timing allows for potential applause or other interruptions. If you can, use the same equipment for practice that you will use when giving your actual speech.
If possible, meet some of the audience members before your speech. If at all possible, find out who the people are in the crowd. If possible, greet a couple of them and find out what their names are. Having a feeling of familiarity with some audience members can make the whole presentation or speech feel more friendly.
Take a look at the environment you are about to speak in. If you won’t be using a microphone, make sure you find out how far and how well your voice will carry. Practice using any equipment you need so that you know how it works. Make sure you know the right way to use visual aids or any relevant equipment. Figure out how much eye contact you must make.
Breathe calmly if you are afraid of public speaking. Controlling your breathing will reduce your level of stress. First, inhale and hold it for 5 seconds. Then slowly exhale for about 5 seconds. Do this six times, and calm will be yours.
Dress nicely, even if you are going to be at an event that is casual. You will speak more confidently, if you are dressed nicely. Wear a tie if you are a man to get the attention of the audience focused on your face.
Know your material to boost your public speaking confidence. Pick something that is interesting to you. Keep your tone conversational and you’ll impress your audience with your knowledge instead of confusing them with complicated jargon.
After you have written the speech, practice it over and over until it is committed to your memory. Watch your facial expressions and gestures in a mirror. Ask family and friends for feedback as well. They can give you some pointers that you may not have noticed and help you improve.
Don’t apologize for being nervous or making mistakes. Chances are, your audience doesn’t even notice. Do not apologize if you realize you made a mistake, but correct is promptly and continue on.
You want your visual aids to be attractive, but not distracting. You need them to underscore your main points. Do not let it be overwhelming. Get your point across with reliable visual aids. Make them colorful and pleasing to the eye while not distracting listeners from paying attention to what you are saying.
Allow for questions and answers from your audience before your speech is over. They might lose track of what they planned to ask. If you let people ask questions throughout your speech, they will appreciate you more.
Prior to getting to the meat of your speech, try and get the audience to connect with you. This will help to break the ice. Start with something your audience can connect to. They will be drawn into your anecdote almost immediately.
Anyone can give a good speech. Confidence and preparation will ensure that you succeed. The advice you have read here can be useful in many different situations that you encounter.
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.