Many people are terrified of public speaking. If you are afraid about speaking to groups, do not lose hope. There are several things you can try to help you overcome your fears. Use these suggestions at your next public speaking engagement.
Memorize your speech before you do anything. After you have committed the speech to memory, now is the time you want to perfect your delivery. Memorizing the speech itself also frees you up for improvisation later on.
Being a good public speaker requires lots of preparation. Know what you’re going to say. Research if you need support for your statements. Write down the things you plan on saying. Practice your remarks over and over until you know them by heart. Preparation allows you to be more at ease.
Learn the material as well as possible. If you have your speech committed to memory, it is still very important to understand the topic completely so you can tell stories or jokes related to it. Use them when needed to bolster your persuasiveness. Draw on your general knowledge in the Q&A session following your presentation.
When making a speech, always face the audience. Don’t turn your attention elsewhere. You are attempting to convey a point or be persuasive, so you must be completely present.
After you memorize your speech, you should practice it over and over. Practice often so you can make adjustments if they are needed. Also master breathing and pace. Leave a little bit of open space in case you’re interrupted, hopefully by a round of applause. Try to practice using the equipment at the location where you will be delivering your speech.
Try telling true stories to better your public speaking. Outline the story before the speech. Give a good introduction and conclusion to surround the story. If the story touches on something that actually happened to you, the audience will connect with it more.
If you know you forgot a sentence when speaking, just keep going. Stopping and returning to the sentence may ruin the entire speech. Many people won’t realize that you skipped it if you don’t bring attention to it.
To give a great speech, you have to practice. Try recording yourself giving the speech. Listen back to the tape to identify any areas of weakness. Practice for friends and family to get advice.
Stay as confident as possible when in front of a crowd. Choose a subject that is close to your heart. Keep a conversational tone to keep the attention of your audience.
Begin by engaging the audience. Smile when entering the room, and you can try shaking hands if you’re able. You will be more effective if you have already made a positive impact on them.
Practice your speech as often as possible. This will give you confidence because it will make you feel prepared. Even though you might think you know your speech by heart, remember to take your speech notes with you to the podium. You may draw a blank and the notes can help jog your memory.
Practice your speech as much as possible so that it becomes second-nature. Use a mirror, so you can practices your expressions and gestures, as well. Test out your speech on your loved ones. You can tweak your delivery and content after they give you their critiques.
Be sure to go out with a bang for a very memorable ending to your speech. The end of a speech is what people remember. A boring ending will make them forget your speech quickly.
Visualize your speech before the big day. Visualize how your audience will react to your speech. When you visualize yourself speaking and the audience raptly paying attention and applauding, it is a simple matter to feel confident as the actual time of the speech approaches.
Prior to delivering a speech, know your audience. No two audiences are the same, and will expect something unique each time you speak. For instance, colleagues will expect your speech to teach them something. Friends may simply want to have fun. No matter the audience, make sure you give them what they want.
Pay attention to the rate of speed when you speak. Nerves can cause you to speed up the pace of your presentation, and this makes it difficult for your audience to catch the most important points. Slow down to make sure your audience understands you, but don’t bore them. Take the time to practice and time your speech until you get it right.
Try not to pace around when you are talking. Some speakers speak much too quickly because they are nervous. It doesn’t matter how good the content of your speech is if the audience can’t understand you. Work on speaking at your normal, or slightly slower than your normal cadence so that the listeners can comprehend your words.
Warm up your voice before you deliver your speech. This is more important if your speech is early in the day. If you don’t, you may find that you’ll start carrying a lot of tension in your vocal chords during the speech. This will cause voice cracks during your speech.
Now that you’ve read this article, you know a thing or two about public speaking. Refer back to these tips whenever you become nervous. You will get more comfortable with practice. Go ahead and practice today!
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.