If you’ve ever asked for advice on public speaking, chances are you’ve heard some rather absurd responses. True, imagining your audience in their underpants may distract you from your anxiety momentarily. However, effective public speaking requires more than the absence of anxiety. These tips offer up a host of ideas to improve your experience speaking in front of groups.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to public speaking. Practice in the mirror to find any room for improvement. Also consider gathering a group of family or friends to watch your speech. They can critique you and give you important feedback.
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. Speak in a conversational tone to impress the audience with what you know rather than confusing them with unfamiliar terminology.
When asked to speak at a wedding, you may be tempted to try some sort of funny patter or to poke fun at the participants. Even when your intentions are good, this can be hurtful. It is better to speak in a friendly, caring and supportive way at this important event.
Eye contact is critical during public speaking engagements. Although you may not be able to make eye contact with every member of a large audience, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Before your speech, identify key members of the audience and their assigned seating, if possible. This enables you to make the greatest impact on the most important audience members.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to making your speech even if they are available at the event at which you are speaking. While alcohol may relax you, you do not want to appear inebriated when you make your speech. You may forget what you want to say, slur your speech, inadvertently insult someone or even become sick in the midst of speaking if you drink too much. Save the liquor for your post-speech celebration.
Try to find humor in the situation if things do not go as planned. There are many variables when you speak in public, which means that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. The microphone or projector may not work, there may be an interruption in power or someone may enter the room in the midst of your speech. Try to take things in stride. Taking things too seriously can result in you having a meltdown, so try to laugh off any issues that may arise.
If you use a computer program to present pictures and information, be sure that you know how to operate it. The last thing you want is to waste the time when you are supposed to be speaking with a lot of computer fiddling. Practice your speech and your visual aids presentation thoroughly.
Experiencing anxiousness before and during your time in the spotlight is normal, but it’s also unproductive. Your best bet is to take a more comprehensive approach to public speaking. Before your next engagement, practice following these important guidelines. You will find that your confidence is improved and that you are better able to communicate your message.