Have you been charged with giving a wedding speech? Or, do you have a speech for school or work? No matter why you have to speak in public, you need to be able to do so effectively. Use the following tips to help you do that.
If you are preparing for a public speaking engagement in advance, memorize your speech first, before anything else. After you have committed the speech to memory, now is the time you want to perfect your delivery. Knowing your speech by heart will also enable you to ad lib if necessary, once you’re at the podium.
Make sure you wear a supportive pair of shoes when you do public speaking. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense on stage from feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly.
Know as much about your material as possible. It is useful to know all the facts, figures and a few jokes or stories relating to your topic, whether your speech is memorized or not. Work them in on the fly depending on how you gauge your audience. Your thorough knowledge about the subject is also great in the Q and A that follows up the speech.
Once you’ve memorized your speech, make sure to practice it repeatedly. Practice often so you can make adjustments if they are needed. Learn to breath with ease and pace your delivery. Leave time for interruptions like laughter and applause. Whenever possible, practice your speech on the very equipment you will use.
To help boost your confidence level imagine giving your speech to a crowd who is anxious to hear your speech. Imagine the audience standing to their feet giving you a standing ovation when you complete your speech. This will help you feel confident when the time comes to deliver your speech.
Know who you’re speaking to. If you can, it would be good if you could find out who will be attending. If possible, greet them when they arrive. This will help you relax and make it more like you are speaking to friends than strangers.
Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
Use deep breathing techniques to assuage your anxiety with regard to public speaking. Before you start to speak, breath deeply a few times and then exhale. Breath in and out very slowly, counting to four or five on each inhale and exhale. Do this approximately five times to feel a difference in how calm you feel.
Never tell the audience that you’re sorry for being nervous or any other issue that comes up. Chances are they didn’t even notice in the first place. Even if they do, coming across as lacking in confidence detracts from your position of authority on your speech that you are making.
If you are nervous when you first stand up to speak, there are a couple of things you can do. Either choose a person toward the center of the audience to focus on or focus on a point at the back of the room. An EXIT sign is a good choice. This will help calm your nerves.
One key to a successful speech is to make it an appropriate length. Basically, when a speech is too short, you may not be giving all the information the audience is looking for. On the other hand, if your speech is too long, your audience may become bored and you may lose their attention.
Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviors serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern.
It is normal to feel nervous when giving a public speech. However, no matter how nervous you feel, you cannot let others notice. If you find yourself nervous, try to imagine yourself giving the speech to someone you know. It will calm you down and allow you to successfully give your speech.
Many people start a speech with a joke in order to grab the audience’s attention, so keep this in mind as you are figuring out what to say. If you are going to tell a joke, make sure that it is tasteful and on topic. Otherwise, you risk alienated some of them.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making your speech even if they are available at the event at which you are speaking. While alcohol may relax you, you do not want to appear inebriated when you make your speech. You may forget what you want to say, slur your speech, inadvertently insult someone or even become sick in the midst of speaking if you drink too much. Save the liquor for your post-speech celebration.
Try to find humor in the situation if things do not go as planned. There are many variables when you speak in public, which means that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. The microphone or projector may not work, there may be an interruption in power or someone may enter the room in the midst of your speech. Try to take things in stride. Taking things too seriously can result in you having a meltdown, so try to laugh off any issues that may arise.
You will encounter a number of situations that involve public speaking. It is unfortunate that public speaking is difficult for many people. However, these simple tips will help if you only remember to apply them. You will achieve more if you have a good delivery.