Many people are intimidated by the thought of speaking in front of a crowd. For certain people, it is worse than death. While it is scary, many people find that they can’t avoid it. Advance preparation is key. The advice here can help you with any problems you have when it comes to speaking in public.
When speaking to a crowd of people, you will have to win them over and not just assume that they will buy what you’re saying. You need to work hard to attract their attention and harder to maintain it. You can almost liken a speech to giving a dramatic performance.
Time your speech to know the length of your speech. You’ll be able to add or subtract content to keep it in your time limit. If you find your presentation is short, get some more material by doing more research. Also, never rush through your speech.
Learn the material the best you can. Have a broad general knowledge of the topic including statistics, facts and anecdotes. Use them as needed to help your audience apprehend your points. They can also help you when it comes time for the audience to ask questions.
Practice your speech as much as you can. Rehearse your speech often to make needed corrections. Pay attention to your speed and to how you breathe as well. Leave time for any audience interruptions that may occur. When you can, rehearse in the actual space where you will speak.
Do your homework on the topic you are presenting on. Do research that comes at your main topic from many different points of view. Think through what you want to say, and put those thoughts down on paper so you can follow your own train of thought. You’ll know your prep was worth it when your audience is engaged enough to participate eagerly in a Q&A session.
Tell a true story to practice speaking publicly. Before you speak outline the story. Your story should have a clear beginning middle and end for better communication of your ideas. Your story should be genuine and your words should be natural and authentic.
If you accidentally skip part of your speech, roll with it. If you stop in the middle, your mind will become confused. Additionally, backing up will just make it abundantly clear to your audience that you messed up.
Avoid drinking alcohol before your speech. While it can seem like a great confidence booster, it’s not. You don’t want to start speaking and suddenly forget your lines or say them in a way that others don’t understand thanks to the alcohol.
Before you begin your speech, make sure you have already engaged the audience. Smile as they enter, and if it’s possible, shake some hands as you welcome them. If you are positive, your audience will be interested in your speech.
Rehearse your speech every day. This is a great boost to your confidence, as you really understand everything about what’s in the speech beforehand. Even if your speech is memorized, it’s still worth bringing some notes when you actually deliver the speech. These notes may come in handy should you forget your speech.
As previously stated, public speaking is sometimes cited as an extreme fear for many individuals, sometimes viewed as even more fearful than dying. However, you need not let your own fear of speaking in public grip you. Implement the advice and ideas provided here to become a master at public 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.