Sometimes you need to speak before a crowd. No matter the audience, your delivery must be right. These tips will increase your skills in all settings.
If you use a timer, you can accurately gauge the length of your speech. This can help you edit it and retrain its length. If the speech is not long enough, add more time by finding more information. Also, never rush through your speech.
You should know your speech by heart. When you can recite it at any point in point in time, work on delivering it. Memorizing your speech also makes ad libbing on stage more comfortable.
Make sure to understand what you are saying. You should even know facts and jokes about the topic of your speech. Work them in on the fly depending on how you gauge your audience. Also use them to reinforce your speech in questions and answer sessions or follow up conversations.
Always look at your audience when you are speaking in public. Keep your focus on what you are doing and not allow yourself to get distracted. You are attempting to convince the audience of something, so they need your full attention.
Be aware of who your audience really is. If you can, it would be good if you could find out who will be attending. Prior to the speech, even say hello to some of them at the door. You will give off a friendlier vibe by becoming personal with some of the audience.
Where will you be speaking? Know the room well. Determine if your voice will carry well without a microphone. Use any equipment to get a feel for it. Utilize any visual aids around. Figure out how much eye contact should be made.
Practice deep breathing if you’re nervous. Controlling your breathing will reduce your level of stress. Inhale through your nose for a four-count, and exhale through your mouth for a five-count. Do this up to six times and you can feel more relaxed.
Practice your speech as much as you possibly can. Try practicing before a mirror or recording your speech to revise and spot areas in need of improvement. However, doing a practice run for family or friends is ideal, as they will be able to critique you well.
Try dressing nice, even if it is a casual event. If you look and feel sharply dressed, your speech will reflect it. Men should consider wearing a necktie when possible, as it does direct audience eyes to the face and head so they focus on your speaking.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages prior to giving a speech. It’s always a bad idea, no matter how convinced you are that it will loosen you up and calm your nerves. Nothing is more awful than reaching the podium and drawing a blank on what to say, simply because you are drunk.
You need to master your material in order to gain true confidence. Make sure that you pick a subject matter that you are well versed in and personally passionate about. Do not focus on fancy wording or technical language, instead speak in a way that you connect with your audience.
Before you begin your speech, make sure you have already engaged the audience. Smile while they’re walking into the room, and give a friendly handshake or two. When you’ve got a positive vibe before a speech, it will boost their interest in hearing your actual speech.
Once your speech is prepared, practice it as much as you can until it’s memorized. It may be a good idea to recite it in front of the mirror so you can see how others will view you. Ask family members for feedback after practicing your speech before them. Their feedback will prove invaluable to improving your speech.
Have a memorable ending if you hope to have your audience remember any of your speech. The ending sticks in people’s minds more than any other part of your speech. Having a good ending will keep your speech in their minds.
Prepare note cards if you need them. Though memorizing your speech is always wise, keeping a written copy on hand is also smart. While you don’t necessarily need the entire speech, having key points of it that you want to emphasize should at least be written down on note cards to ensure that you don’t forget to cover the important stuff.
When speaking to a large audience, you need to project confidence with a voice that is strong and easily understood. Drink water to clear the passages before a speech, and keep it handy while you are speaking. On speech day, don’t drink any dairy or soda. These liquids thicken the saliva and can even stimulate the production of mucous. Tea is the best thing that you can have for your throat.
Never make listeners wait until the speech ends to ask their questions. They may not be able to remember what they need to ask. Your audience will be more interested if they can ask questions as they arise.
Start your speech by telling a story. It can be about a news story or a personal experience. Adding a bit of humanity to your topic can trigger their empathy and willingness to learn from you. When developing your narrative, steer clear of controversial or offensive scenarios.
You do not need to be a gifted speaker to deliver an amazing speech. Being prepared and confident are the most important parts of giving a good speech. These tips can help you in all your communications.
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.