Do you feel nervous when you have to give a speech? You are not alone. Many people struggle with public speaking every day. The key to public speaking is knowing how to calm those nerves and give a wonderful speech. Use the following tips to help you do just that.
When speaking in public, make sure that what you have to say is engaging, otherwise you risk boring the crowd. Regardless of what you have to say, it will not go over well if it is boring. Practice your speech on people you know to see how the message you are giving is being received.
Being prepared – understanding your topic is key. Even if your speech is memorized, knowing key facts and elements will help tremendously. Depending on the type of audience and how receptive they are, you can weave in stories as you go along. Be prepared for more questions on the subject.
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.
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.
Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviors serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern.
When preparing a speech that contains large amounts of information, don’t be too proud to use note cards. Even the most gifted orators recognize the usefulness of notes. It is preferable to quickly glance at your notes rather than cite information incorrectly or omit key points. This works especially well when the topic includes specific figures, such as dollar amounts, percentages, and dates.
To increase your effectiveness as a public speaker, maintain good posture when you speak. To inspire confidence you should stand comfortably upright and avoid common posture problems such as slouching or leaning to one side during the presentation. If you don’t intend to use gestures keep your hands in a neutral position, either straight down at your sides or in front of the body with one hand over the other at about navel height. Hold the attention of your audience by adopting a calm and upright demeanor.
If you are one of many people who get nervous in front of a crowd, do not despair. Many great public speakers deal with the same problem. Luckily, there is a way around it. Use the tips above to help you prepare yourself to make the best speech of your life.