Many people are intimidated by public speaking. If this is one of your fears, do not worry. There are steps you can take to alleviate your fears. Go over the following tips to help you prepare to speak better in public with confidence.
Sometimes, people will not follow what you are speaking about. You need to work at keeping the audience focused on what you’re saying throughout the entire speech. You can almost liken a speech to giving a dramatic performance.
People won’t automatically pay attention to what you have to say. You must work hard to get their attention and even harder to keep it. Public speaking is a performance, and it takes work to get real results.
When you speak in public, preparation is critical. Know what you’re going to say. Educate yourself on the topic, if you have to. Jot down notes of anything you’ll be conveying so you can scan over them while giving your speech. Also, remember to memorize your words so you look professional while speaking. Being prepared will give you the confidence you need to be an effective public speaker.
Time your speech. If it is longer than you were expecting, take the opportunity to trim it down. If you need more information, do some research and find helpful information. Also, never rush through your speech.
Make sure you know your material completely. Have a broad general knowledge of the topic including statistics, facts and anecdotes. This will help you to engage the audience. They can also be used to make the speech stronger or to answer audience questions.
Understand the material thoroughly. Even when memorizing a speech, you should know the figures, facts, stories, and jokes that relate to your topic. If you have time, you can add in some of these things throughout your speech as needed. You might also find this information comes in handy when it’s time to answer questions.
Have a complete comprehension of your topic before making your speech. This will help you to become more comfortable. Make notes of this and use it in your speech. Doing so will help you when it comes time to answer questions.
While delivering your speech, look at your audience. Don’t let yourself become distracted by other activity in the room. If you want to engage your audience, you need to give them all of your attention.
You may want to consider using a story to engage your audience. Before you speak outline the story. It is important that you lead into the story with an introduction and that you end with a conclusion. Be sure you use true life events in order to sound really authentic.
Practice your speech more than once after you memorize it. Repeated practice sessions can help you make key adjustments. Pay attention to your speed and to how you breathe as well. Remember to incorporate time into your speech for possible interruptions. Hopefully, some of these interruptions will be for applause. If you can, practice your speech with the exact equipment you will have available at the time of your speech.
If you skip a sentence while making your speech, just forge ahead. If you stop while speaking to correct the part you missed, it might throw off the rest of the speech. In addition, others are unlikely to recognize the omission if you don’t draw attention to the issue.
Know who you’re speaking to. If it’s possible to know, learn about some of the specific people that will be there. If possible, greet them as they enter and ask their name. Practice their names in your mind. Having a personal familiarity with a few people in the crowd can make it a lot more friendly feeling.
Even if the event you’re speaking at is casual, dress nice. If you feel that you look good, your speaking will reflect that. Male speakers should think about wearing a tie, because it generally draws attention to the mouth area.
If you have skipped some of the information in your speech, continue talking rather than getting yourself and the audience confused by an awkward flow of words. By pausing to correct yourself, you could end up blowing the entire speech. The audience has not seen your speech, so they will remain unaware that you missed something unless you tell them.
Don’t drink alcohol before giving your speech. While you might think a drink will calm your nerves, it can cause you to slur words and become forgetful. You don’t want to risk forgetting what you want to say just because you decided to have a drink or two prior to your speech.
Even if the event you’re speaking at is casual, dress nice. A well-dressed person gives off an air of confidence and it comes through as they speak. Consider a tie because it draws the eye to your face and helps people focus on what you are saying.
Practice making your speech every day. It can seriously improve your confidence since you’ll begin to really own the material. Although you may have your speech memorized, you should always take your notes to the podium with you. This will help if you stumble over any part of your speech or forget an important point.
Prior to getting up and speaking, try and connect with the audience. If possible, walk around and personally greet people, but always remember to smile. Giving off positive energy to your audience will go a long way in keeping them interested in your speech.
Practice your speech over and over until you can give it without looking at your notes. Practice in front of a mirror where you can try using various hand gestures and facial expressions to help make your points. Try getting feedback from family when doing dry runs of speeches for them. These people can assist you in improving the content as well as the delivery of your speech.
Practice your speech as often as possible. This will give you confidence because you are very familiar with the material. However, don’t become so overconfident that you go onstage without notes. It will allow you the opportunity to glance at it should you lose your place.
If you feel nervous or feel you are failing, never let it show. You may think you are making a fool of yourself, and your audience may not even be able to see it. Should you make an error, simply correct it and continue on without apologizing.
Have a memorable conclusion in order to help your audience remember your presentation. While all parts of your speech are important, the ending is what people will probably remember most. If your ending is boring, it will quickly leave the minds of your audience.
If your audience will be a large one, make sure your voice is clear and strong. If you can manage it, try to keep a water glass nearby while you speak. Do not drink cola or dairy beverages on the day you’re giving your speech. These fluids thicken your saliva and may even stimulate mucous production. Hot tea prior to your speech can help relax the vocal chords.
Try not to force questions to the very end of your talk. The audience may forget their questions. People will appreciate having a chance to get answers to their questions as they arise; so let them do just that.
Make use of note cards. While it is best to have your speech committed to memory, having a hard copy handy is not a bad idea. Your entire speech need not be written out, but make note cards on the key points to make sure you do not forget anything.
Prior to delivering a speech, know your audience. Every audience needs something different. Colleagues would like to learn from your speech. Loved ones usually want to be entertained. Regardless of the composition of the audience, be sure to provide them with what they expect.
These ideas will help to alleviate your fears about public speaking. Refer back to these tips whenever you become nervous. You will become more comfortable as you continue to practice these ideas. Begin practicing your skills today.
Carefully monitor the speed you use to deliver your speech. Nerves can cause you to speed up the pace of your presentation, and this makes it difficult for your audience to catch the most important points. On the other hand, a slow speech will lose the audience attention. Practice your speech many times to get the right speed perfected.