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.
If you know you forgot a sentence when speaking, just keep going. If you stop abruptly to backtrack to the missing section, the whole speech might be compromised. Bets are that your audience will not even notice you left out something, as long as you don’t call attention to it.
It is important to give off a confident vibe when giving a speech. Therefore, avoid looking at the floor, ceiling, or your notes too often during the speech. Instead, look into the eyes of your audience. They will realize you are not only confident, but that you have prepared yourself, as well.
Do not chew gum or eat when you are making a speech. The chewing is unprofessional and distracts your audience. It is permissible to sip from a glass of water occasionally so that your throat does not get dry. Keep that to a minimum too, as it serves as a distraction from your message.
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.
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.
Consider your appearance. The audience is not likely to listen to you when your state of dress or grooming skills are distracting. Consider your audience when you think about what you are going to wear. Suits work well in for most speeches, but consider something more casual when speaking to younger audiences.
Try your best to convey emotions as you speak to your audience. If you are monotone, this will only make people bored and they will stop listening to you. While you don’t have to bounce of the walls to let them know you have energy, it is important that you show some type of feeling.
Be prepared for the unexpected. While you hope that nothing will happen to ruin your speech, try to plan for any contingencies. What will you do if one of your audio visual aids does not work? What if the microphone fails? How will you handle audience interruptions or questions? Having a plan in place to handle possible issues makes it more likely that your public speaking experience will go well.
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.