If the thought of speaking in public puts you into a tailspin, you’re certainly not alone. Millions of men and women of all ages share your fears. Anxiety doesn’t just affect you physically; it also compromises your ability to get your point across. Fortunately, there are many strategies for developing your public speaking skills.
Love your topic. To help you be able to talk confidently when speaking in front of others, choose a topic that you know a lot about. Include tidbits of information that is not commonly known to keep your audience engaged. Finally, speak in a conversational tone to help you remain calm and composed.
It is important that everything you say during your speech is related to the topic. Even if you are going to tell jokes, they should be related in some way. This will help keep the audience focused on the subject at hand and prevent things from going too far off course.
Know the audience that you will be speaking to. To help you get to know the audience, greet people as they enter and engage them in some conversation. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable when you go to the podium. It is much easier to speak to people you know.
Never drink before you have to speak in public. People under the influence tend to slur their words or forget them altogether. You may go up to podium and think you have everything under control only to realize you were incorrect. That is why you should skip drinking any type of alcohol.
Make sure you understand your topic before preparing your speech. Do broad research and view the topic from different perspectives. Choose your points carefully. Choose your words with care, and make clear notes that are easy to follow. You’ll know your prep was worth it when your audience is engaged enough to participate eagerly in a Q&A session.
Do not use a laser pointer to run over words as you read them from a screen. This gives your audience the idea that you think they are incapable of reading for themselves. Once they begin to feel insulted, it will be much harder for you to convince them to listen to you.
The most effective way to refine the message of a speech is to practice it. You can practice in front of a mirror or record your speech so that you can critique it to see areas that you can improve. Also, get feedback from friends by practicing your speech for them.
One key to a successful speech is to make it an appropriate length. Basically, when a speech is too short, you may not be giving all the information the audience is looking for. On the other hand, if your speech is too long, your audience may become bored and you may lose their attention.
Each of these tips has proven effective for individuals who once shared your apprehension. With the right mindset and motivation, anyone can deliver their message regardless of the audience size and environment. While you may not ever look forward to future public speaking engagements, you can be sure that you will no longer dread them.