Nobody would dispute the proposition that public speaking can be very intimidating, if not crippling to some. The fact remains, though, that with a bit of coaching and solid technique, everyone has the power to get better at it. The article below is intended to help that process go more smoothly.
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.
Know your surroundings. Take a few moments when you arrive to acquaint yourself with your surroundings. If you can arrive early, go to the podium and do a soundcheck before your audience arrives. If you have visual aids, practice using them while you are orientating yourself with your surroundings.
Make eye contact with your audience members. Doing so makes them feel as if you are speaking directly to them and helps keep them engaged. It also makes you appear confident and poised. Look at various members of the audience as you speak to help engage as many of them as possible.
Project your voice when you speak in front of an audience. This is particularly true if you do not have the benefit of a microphone. You want everyone in the room to be able to hear you, so do not be afraid to speak as loudly as necessary to accomplish that. There is no point in making a speech that most of the audience cannot hear.
Never assume that you are going in front of a hostile audience. They are giving you their time and attention. They want to be informed, captivated, entertained and moved. Visualize them clapping for you, because they probably hope you give them reason to do just that at some point.
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.
Do not try to be someone else when giving your speech. If you want to grab your audience’s attention, you cannot come across as fake; your audience will not take you seriously. So, in other words, avoid saying things you would not normally say and don’t do anything you normally would not do.
Always wear comfortable clothes for a speaking engagement. Even if you must wear a suit or formal dress, be sure your clothing fits properly and does not make you feel too hot. Choose modest clothing for speaking in public, and make sure all fasteners and buttons hold securely so that you do not experience wardrobe malfunction.
Take a look at the venue before you make your speech. See how big the room is, how many seats there are, and what the lighting is like. You will feel less nervous when you know what environment you will be dealing with. Also, try standing at the podium to get a feel of the stage.
Practice your speech until it’s perfect. It may be a good idea to recite it in front of the mirror so you can see how others will view you. Have friends or family members give feedback. These people can assist you in improving the content as well as the delivery of your speech.
Never say that you are sorry when giving a speech. Sometimes, the audience may not see that you are nervous. If you made an error, quickly fix it and keep going forward without apologizing.
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.
Be certain you have visual aids that are not the main attraction. These aids should only be used to help illustrate key points as an enhancement. You don’t want them to become distracting or overwhelm the message. Visual aids that are made well and emphasizes key points are ideal. Make them colorful and pleasing to the eye while not distracting listeners from paying attention to what you are saying.
If using slides or other visual aids that include printed messages, assume your audience knows how to read. You can paraphrase the message on the slide, but don’t just read it aloud. This wastes your time and insults your audience’s intelligence. By presenting written material and supporting it with a slightly different spoken version, your message will be more memorable.
If you plan to give multiple speeches within a short period of time, take care to protect your vocal cords. A hoarse or inaudible voice is not likely to sway audience members’ opinions. Sleep with a humidifier in your room, sip hot tea, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Try not to force questions to the very end of your talk. They might forget what is on their mind. People will appreciate you much more as a speaker if you allow them to ask questions whenever they like, so give them exactly what they want.
One way to better your public speaking skills is by gaining experience in public speaking. After you have groups of people sit through a couple of your speeches and respond positively to them, you will start gaining authority status. This can boost your confidence and help you become a better speaker.
It is impossible to deny the fact that public speaking makes many folks run away in fear. While it can certainly be nerve-wracking to speak in front of others, this is not a fear that is impossible to overcome. Use the advice in this article as necessary and get control of the situation today.