There comes a time in every person’s life that public speaking is necessary. Whether you need to make a speech at school, make a sales pitch at work or need to speak to your colleagues at a meeting, public speaking is a part of life. Make the most of the situation with these tips and tricks.
Feeling nervous before speaking in public is very common. To help overcome the fear of speaking in front of others practice the speech you will be giving several times in front of your family. This will allow you to work out any kinks in your speech. Additionally, this will give you the chance to speak in front of others.
It is very important that you display enthusiasm when you are speaking publicly. There is no way that you will get others excited about a topic if it seems like you are bored with it. If the topic is one that is a bit more emotionally driven, you have to show them that you care.
Practice your speech more than once after you memorize it. Try to get in at least one practice session a day for the entire week before giving your speech. Also master breathing and pace. Make sure that your speech time allows some open space for interruptions, which are hopefully rounds of applause. Practice the speech with any equipment you plan to use.
Try to relax before and during your speech. Breathe deeply and remember that you are well-prepared, so you have nothing to worry about. Some say that it helps to envision your audience members in their underwear to help you relax. This sort of visualization can help you look and feel more relaxed while speaking.
Focus on the truth when speaking in public. Make sure to outline your speech. Your story should have a clear beginning middle and end for better communication of your ideas. Base your story on an actual event to make your words seem natural and real.
The tone of your speech should depend on who you are giving it to. For instance, if your speech is work-related, your speech should be professional. On the other hand, if you are around friends and have to make a speech, you can be more personal. Base your whole speech on your audience.
Practice deep breathing exercises if you are the type who is anxious when you speak in public. Inhaling deeply and exhaling completely helps to calm your nerves before starting your speech. First, inhale and hold it for 5 seconds. Then slowly exhale for about 5 seconds. Repeat this until you feel your breathing and heart rate calm down.
Practice is the single best way to make sure you know exactly what to say. You can practice in front of a mirror or record your speech so that you can critique it to see areas that you can improve. Practice for friends and family to get advice.
Continue to practice your speech so that you are at ease with it. Use a mirror, so you can practices your expressions and gestures, as well. Try getting feedback from family when doing dry runs of speeches for them. This will help you improve your speech.
If you will be speaking for a long time, be sure to have a glass of water handy on the podium. It is also a good idea to have a stool behind the podium so you can perch occasionally if you get too tired. Wear comfortable shoes so that you will be able to concentrate on your speech rather than your feet.
To increase your effectiveness as a public speaker, maintain good posture when you speak. To inspire confidence you should stand comfortably upright and avoid common posture problems such as slouching or leaning to one side during the presentation. If you don’t intend to use gestures keep your hands in a neutral position, either straight down at your sides or in front of the body with one hand over the other at about navel height. Hold the attention of your audience by adopting a calm and upright demeanor.
Try using note cards if you can. You should know the bulk of your speech by memory, but having on note cards won’t hurt. Write down key points on your note card to refer to while delivering your speech.
Tell a joke to break the ice. A joke can help calm your jittery nerves. Additionally, a well timed joke will allow your audience to relax and see you for who your really are. However, be aware that telling too many jokes can make your audience not believe anything you say.
Envision the speech you must deliver. You need to envision the presentation and the feedback from the audience. 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.
Videotape a couple of practice sessions of your public speaking engagements. When you can see yourself in action this way, you can easily see what you can improve upon. It may be the way you move your hands or the expression on your face. Seeing this on film gives you a more objective perspective.
Be prepared for the unexpected. While you hope that nothing will happen to ruin your speech, try to plan for any contingencies. What will you do if one of your audio visual aids does not work? What if the microphone fails? How will you handle audience interruptions or questions? Having a plan in place to handle possible issues makes it more likely that your public speaking experience will go well.
Start your speech by telling a story. This story can be hypothetical, a news story, or a personal experience. This makes you more appealing to your audience. Steer clear of offensive remarks or commentary that drags on too long.
As stated in the introduction, there will come a time when you need to speak to a crowd of people. No matter the reason is or the size of the crowd, it is important that you do well. Follow the simple tips listed above to increase your public speaking skills.