It is not unusual for people to feel anxious when they have to get up and talk in front of others. Most folks will do anything to avoid these kinds of circumstances. Sometimes you just have to do it, though. This article contains some great ideas to help you master your fears regarding speaking in public.
When you speak in public, remember that people will not automatically follow what you say. You have to put in your best effort if you want people to connect with you and stay with you throughout your speech. This is a performance, which means that you will have to work hard in order to get the results you want.
Memorize your speech beforehand to reduce your anxiety. Once you can recite your speech from memory at any point of day, then you can work on delivery. You will be more comfortable on stage when you have memorized your speech.
Know your material inside and out. You should even know facts and jokes about the topic of your speech. Use them judiciously when you feel your audience is receptive. These will help to give your speech more credibility with your audience.
Be aware of who your audience really is. If you can, it would be good if you could find out who will be attending. If you are able to. try greeting some of them and learning some names. The crowd will feel more friendly if you have a level of familiarity with at least some of the people.
You can become better at public speaking by telling a story that is true. Prior to the day of your speech, make an outline of your story. The story needs a defined beginning, middle, and a clear ending for the best communication of ideas. Make sure your story is based on a real life event and your words will come off as authentic and natural.
Familiarize yourself with the room you will be speaking in. Test your voice in it to see how far it projects if you aren’t using a microphone. Use the equipment to get used to it. If there are visual aids, learn to use them. Make sure you understand what an appropriate level of eye contact is.
Use deep breathing techniques to assuage your anxiety with regard to public speaking. Doing some deep breathing and full exhalation prior to speaking helps calm you down. Use a count of four to breathe through the nose, and then a five count to breathe through the mouth. Do this six times to calm yourself down.
You must know your material in order to feel comfortable while delivering your speech. Your topic should be something that you are genuinely interested in and have experience with. Keep a conversational tone to keep the attention of your audience.
Get the audience in your corner prior to giving your speech. Give them a big grin. The audience is sure to show appreciation if you have a great attitude.
Get on your feet and practice any speech on a daily basis. This will give you confidence because you are very familiar with the material. Even though you might think you know your speech by heart, remember to take your speech notes with you to the podium. This helps if you forget something since you can peek down at them for a refresher.
To help your speech make a big impact on your audience members, do what you can to make the ending memorable. Of course your whole speech is important, but your ending is what will help make it memorable. Wrapping things up with a boring element will not cause folks to remember you.
Note cards are great tools for speeches. Even though it is best that you memorize your speech, keeping a hard copy of it close by is a good idea. Don’t worry about having the full text of your speech with you, just be concerned about the important points you’re going to make so you can make sure you don’t forget any of them.
If you feel that things are going smoothly, never apologize. While it’s easy to feel like a fool in front of a large group, most of the time, the audience will be unaware of your internal feelings. If you made an error, quickly fix it and keep going forward without apologizing.
Just about anyone can face a crowd and speak. You need to approach it right and practice. Practice is important to become a public speaking pro. Use these ideas to help you prepare your next speech. You may find that it is not as hard as you once thought it to be.
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.
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