People either hate or love public speaking. Those who loathe it should be happy to know that with practice, they don’t have to feel that way. Read on for great suggestions on how you can become a confident speaker.
Don’t assume that people will automatically know what you mean. You have to capture and retain their attention. This is a performance, which means that you will have to work hard in order to get the results you want.
If you are preparing for a public speaking engagement in advance, memorize your speech first, before anything else. After you can say it from memory, figure out how you want the delivery to go. Memorize it and you will feel more comfortable with it.
Learn the material the best you can. You should even know facts and jokes about the topic of your speech. Use them judiciously when you feel your audience is receptive. They can also help you when it comes time for the audience to ask questions.
If you are anxious about public speaking, practice deep breathing techniques. Controlling your breathing will reduce your level of stress. Breath using four-count nasal inhales and five-count mouth exhales. Do this approximately five times to feel a positive difference in how calm you feel.
Practice makes perfect, and helps you master what you plan to convey. Try giving your speech while looking in a mirror, or record it and play it back to find out how to make it better. The best way is to practice giving the speech for friends or family, and have them give constructive criticism.
You should know your speech to become comfortable with it. Pick something that is interesting to you. Don’t use fancy words so that the entire audience can understand what you are saying.
Get to know your audience before the speech. Smile towards them when you enter. Shake a few hands if you can. When you show this positive attitude, the audience will show more interest in what you will be talking about.
Practice making your speech every day. This will help build your confidence since the material will become second nature. Have your notes with you as you stand at the podium, even if you’ve done a good job of memorizing your speech. This will help if you stumble over any part of your speech or forget an important point.
Practice your speech until it’s perfect. Deliver your speech while looking in a mirror to help you see the effects of various facial expressions and hand gestures that you use to bring points home. Have friends or family members give feedback. They may have valuable advice for you.
Never apologize, even if you feel nervous and like you are making mistakes. While it’s easy to feel like a fool in front of a large group, most of the time, the audience will be unaware of your internal feelings. If you happen to commit an error, just make a quick correction and keep moving without saying you’re sorry.
Make sure the visual aids you use are not distracting. Visual aids should enhance the information you are giving. Do not let it be overwhelming. Visual aids that are made well and emphasizes key points are ideal. They can be both attractive and colorful without detracting from your presentation.
Allow the opportunity for questions throughout your speech. People might forget important questions. People will appreciate having a chance to get answers to their questions as they arise; so let them do just that.
Prior to giving your speech, warm up your audience. This doesn’t mean opening with some joke. Talking about traffic or the weather can be a way to share a common experience with them. They will be drawn into your anecdote almost immediately.
Do not even think about trying to wing it. This is a terrible idea, no matter how passionate you are and how much you know about your subject. Your final speech may be very passionate. However, after finishing, you’ll still remember some aspects that you forgot to mention.
Ensure that you are thinking positively before making your speech. It is common to find yourself feeling anxious. There isn’t a person alive who does not feel nervous before giving a speech. Avoid negative thinking about yourself and your performance. If you anticipate failure, it will probably occur. Only tell yourself that you will do well and stay positive so that you can make your speech go well, too
When you are about to give your speech, have an understanding of the types of people who are in the crowd. Different audiences will have different needs. For example, colleagues will want to learn something from your speech. Your friends and loved ones are probably just hoping to be entertained. Give your audience what they want.
Many people cringe when they think of speaking in public. But, there need not be this sense of dread as long as some key advice is followed. Hopefully, the above article has offered suggestions that will demystify this whole process.