Public speaking is often rated as among the top five fears of most people. For some, it even surpasses death. Because of this, it is important to know what you can do to make public speaking easier on yourself. Break down your biggest public speaking fears and learn how to overcome them by reading the following tips and advice.
If you are preparing for a public speaking engagement in advance, memorize your speech first, before anything else. Once you have your speech memorized, then the delivery method you choose can be worked on. You will be more comfortable on stage when you have memorized your speech.
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 have to capture and retain their attention. Public speaking is a performance, and it takes work to get real results.
Being prepared – understanding your topic is key. You should even know facts and jokes about the topic of your speech. You can work these things into your speech to add time, engage the audience, and make yourself sound like a real professional. Also, use them to answer questions and back up the substance of your speech.
Always make sure to look at your audience. Don’t let yourself get distracted by things occurring around the room. You want to make your audience see your point, which means they need your complete attention.
In order to make the best presentation when speaking publicly, you must prepare thoroughly. What do you plan to say? Make sure you can back up your point of view with facts. Write down the things you plan on saying. Also, remember to memorize your words so you look professional while speaking. The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be when delivering the speech.
Know who you’re speaking to. Look to see if you know anyone in the audience. Greet them at the door and ask their names. You will give off a friendlier vibe by becoming personal with some of the audience.
Get to know the room in which you are going to speak publicly. Learn how far your voice carries if there is not a microphone. Practice with the equipment to learn how it operates. Learn how you can use any of the visual aids if they are present. Figure out how much eye contact you must make.
Take the time to really know the material in your speech. Think about the material that you are trying to get across. Work them in where you think they fit and will engage your current audience. Be prepared for more questions on the subject.
If you notice that you left something out, simply press on. You will ruin your momentum if you try and backtrack to include the missing information. If you just keep going, your audience will never know you made a mistake.
Practicing your speech is a great way to become confident. Practice the speech in a mirror to see what you can do better. You can also include friends and family in the audience.
Practice your speech frequently once you have it memorized. You’ll get smoother at your speech by practicing it often. Be sure to practice your pace and breathing. Insert spaces into your speech that allow for interruptions, such as applause. If you can, use the same equipment for practice that you will use when giving your actual speech.
Dress to impress, even for casual speeches. If you feel that you look good, you’ll tend to talk better, as well. You don’t have to wear a suit, but wear something nice that will impress the audience.
Wait until after your speech to enjoy a beer. While it may appear to be a solution for low self-confidence, it will most likely backfire on you. Nothing is more awful than reaching the podium and drawing a blank on what to say, simply because you are drunk.
You may want to consider using a story to engage your audience. Make yourself a solid outline of the facts to base your speech on. There should be a beginning, middle and an end to communicate your ideas. If your story is one that is modeled after a true story, you will be both natural and believable.
Practice making your speech every day. This is a great boost to your confidence, as you really understand everything about what’s in the speech beforehand. While having the speech memorized is ideal, you should carry note cards with you to the podium. This will help if you stumble over any part of your speech or forget an important point.
After you have written your speech, be sure to practice it until you have memorized it. Try practicing in front of mirrors, using hand gestures, and facial expressions for making points. Ask those closest to you to listen to your presentation as well. They will help with your weak spots.
If possible, go into the speech room before the event. Understand the distance your voice can travel. Try out any equipment you will be using. Learn how you can use any of the visual aids if they are present. Look at how far away the entire audience will be.
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. Do not write the whole speech down, but jot down important bullet points.
Learning how to breathe properly can help to relieve your stress about speaking. Take several breaths and exhale before you start to calm your nerves. Breathe in with your nose and count to five. Release through your mouth while counting to five again. Do this six times, and you’ll start to become very calm.
Never apologize, even if you feel nervous and like you are making mistakes. Even if you are nervous, display confidence and your audience will feel confident in you. If you happen to commit an error, just make a quick correction and keep moving without saying you’re sorry.
Keep your voice clear and bold when delivering your speech. Make sure that you have a cup of water handy as you are speaking to the audience. Do not drink milk or soda on the day on which you are making your speech. You may end up with excess mucous during your speech. Have a nice mug of hot tea to ease your vocal chords.
Practice is the single best way to make sure you know exactly what to say. Practice before a mirror or even video yourself so that you see where you can improve. However, it is always best to prepare your speech in front of family and friends, since instant feedback is the best.
Allow for questions and answers from your audience before your speech is over. They might forget what is on their mind. Your audience will appreciate it if you let them speak out when a thought strikes them.
Be sure to warm your audience up before speaking. You don’t have to tell a joke. You can mention about something that happened to you on your way to the venue, that you think your audience can identify with. This is one way to establish an initial connection with the members of the audience.
Don’t drink alcohol before a speech. It may appear to be a good idea, but it really isn’t. Nothing is worse than getting up on the platform and forgetting what you are going to say because you have imbibed in alcoholic beverages before your speech.
Never go into a speech unprepared. This is not a good idea, even if you are an expert at what you are speaking about. The speech might turn out alright, but it may not. However, once you are done, you are going to regret the important things you forgot to bring up.
Know your audience before preparing a speech for them. This will help you understand what they want. If you are speaking in a work situation, make certain that you share information that the audience will benefit from. Loved ones usually want to be entertained. Provide the right information to keep them happy.
Continue to practice your speech so that you are at ease with it. Watch your facial expressions and gestures in a mirror. Do a few practice presentations in front of friends to get some feedback. It will allow you to make adjustments to the errors that you find too.
Many people quake with fear at the thought of giving a speech in public. However, do not let your public speaking fear control you. Implement the advice and ideas provided here to become a master at public speaking.
Make the end of your speech memorable if you want it to be remembered. The ending sticks in people’s minds more than any other part of your speech. If you end on a bad note, most people will quickly forget everything you just said.