Are you interested in becoming a powerful speaker, but hesitate because you are afraid? If you have ever wished you could move audiences with the power of your speech, you are in good company. Here are some ideas to help you become a better public speaker.
If you are preparing for a public speaking engagement in advance, memorize your speech first, before anything else. Once you have the ability to make your speech without assistance at any time, you can then start working on delivery. Memorize it and you will feel more comfortable with it.
You cannot give a speech and automatically assume that everyone will follow what you say. You need to work hard to attract their attention and harder to maintain it. This performance requires working hard for your desired results.
Being prepared – understanding your topic is key. 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. You can work these things into your speech to add time, engage the audience, and make yourself sound like a real professional. They can also help you when it comes time for the audience to ask questions.
Learn as much as you can about the subject you are presenting. Don’t just memorize words, understand facts and even have a relevant story or joke on hand. You can include theme if you think your audience is receptive. In addition, you can rely on them during the question and answer period or during follow-up conversations.
Always look at your audience when speaking. Do not let yourself get distracted by things in the area. Remember that you need to get your point across, and you won’t do this unless you let your audience know your attention is on them.
When addressing an audience, face them during every word of your speech. While it can be easy to get distracted by other things around you, don’t! You are trying to convince your audience of something, which means that it is very important for them to have your full attention.
As you prepare your speech, ascertain you know your topic well. Research it from various angles so you have a good understanding of the topic. Narrow down exactly what you are going to say, and what specific topics you want to address, making sure that notes are kept with all the key points. The time spent preparing will pay dividends once you start receiving questions.
Practice your speech frequently once you have it memorized. Practice often so you can make adjustments if they are needed. Make sure you master proper pace and breathing. Make time for any interruptions that may happen. Use the equipment you are going to use for the speech to practice if you can.
Focus on telling true stories to help improve your public speaking. Prior to your speaking occasion, make an outline of the tale. You need to include a beginning, a middle portion and a definite end to the story you tell. Make sure your story is based on a real life event and your words will come off as authentic and natural.
When preparing to make a speech, be sure to understand the concept of your topic first. Do broad research and view the topic from different perspectives. Hone in your points carefully and get your remarks ready in notes that are clear and easy to follow. Doing so will help you when it comes time to answer questions.
Familiarize yourself with the room you will be speaking in. Test your voice in it to see how far it projects if you aren’t using a microphone. Get a good feel for the room’s acoustics however you can. Learn the proper use of visual aids that you are incorporating. Figure out how much eye contact should be made.
Be aware of who your audience really is. If you can, learn more about audience members. If it’s possible, try greeting them as they arrive and take the time to learn their names. This will give the event a more personal atmosphere.
If you inadvertently skipped a sentence, keep going. Don’t call attention to it and disrupt the flow of your speech. If you don’t mention it, the audience will never know you overlooked something.
Focus on telling true stories to help improve your public speaking. Make an outline of your speech prior to beginning your speaking engagement. Knowing how to speak your ideas clearly in the right order will help you better communicate your ideas. Base your story on something that happened in real life.
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. Inhale and exhale counting to four each time. Do this six times, and calm will be yours.
You should know about the room you are speaking in. How far will your voice carry or is there 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 should be made.
No matter the venue, always look your best. If you look and feel sharply dressed, your speaking will reflect it. Men should want the focus to be on their face as they speak, so think about wearing a necktie.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to public speaking. Do this near a mirror so you can see yourself. Practice for friends and family to get advice.
Go over your speech several times before you deliver it. This will give you confidence because you are very familiar with the material. Even though you might think you know your speech by heart, remember to take your speech notes with you to the podium. Thus, if you lose your way, you will be able to quickly take a look and get on the right track.
Try dressing nice, even if it is a casual event. Looking sharp can give off a confident image. Male speakers should think about wearing a tie, because it generally draws attention to the mouth area.
After your speech is written, do many practice runs so that you nearly memorize it. It’s best to practice while looking in the mirror. This way, you can figure out which facial expressions and gestures work best. Make your speech for friends or family members, and listen to their feedback. It will allow you to make adjustments to the errors that you find too.
You must know your material in order to feel comfortable while delivering your speech. Choose a topic that genuinely interests you and one that you have personal experience with. Stay conversational while delivering your speech. Use your knowledge to impress your audience.
Be sure to go out with a bang for a very memorable ending to your speech. While all parts of your speech are important, the ending is what people will probably remember most. Make sure that the speech flows well to the end, and don’t make the end boring.
Note cards can help you out. It’s always ideal to bring a backup copy of your speech with you even if you have memorized it. You don’t have to have the speech in its entirety before you as you stand at the podium, but your key points should at least be jotted down.
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. You don’t need the whole thing written down, but having your main points on note cards can help you avoid leaving out the important points in your speech.
Never apologize for being nervous. You might be afraid of making yourself look silly, but your listeners are unlikely to notice. Should you make an error, simply correct it and keep going. There is no need to apologize.
You don’t want the visual aids to be a distraction from your speech. You only want them to help enhance your speech. You don’t want your message to get lost. Visual aids should be of good quality, and used only for specific points where needed. Your visual aids should be attractive and colorful; however, they should not distract your audience from your speech.
Do not let visuals be distracting. This will help to accentuate your speech. You do not want them to overwhelm your message. Use quality aids to help you make key points. They shouldn’t take away from your message.
Prior to making a speech, get the audience on your side. You don’t have to tell a joke. For instance, you can talk about an incident that occurred as you traveled to the event if it is something that your audience can relate to. This will help you to engage the audience.
Do not make people wait until the end of your speech to ask questions. They may forget what it is that they want to ask. They’ll feel a lot better if they can ask questions as they have them, so be prepared to answer.
Powerful people are ones that can deliver a speech confidently. You can start today improving your skills so you, too, can be a skillful public speaker. Heed the guidance presented in the above paragraphs and take the bull by the horns!
Warm up your audience. You don’t have to start out by telling a joke. You can bring up a quick story about your day, what happened on the way to the speech, or just something that the audience can relate to. They will be drawn into your anecdote almost immediately.