Does the idea of giving a speech make your hands sweat and your heart race? Do you hide in fear when in situations where public speaking may be required? There really is no need to continue your dread of speaking before others as long as you are prepared to take the following advice seriously.
Public speaking needs to be taken seriously. You can’t just get up and speak and expect that everyone will hang on to your every word automatically. You need to work hard if you want their attention, and you need to work harder if you expect to keep it. You can almost liken a speech to giving a dramatic performance.
Make sure your speech is memorized. After you are able to do the speech from memory, you will be able to refine your delivery. Knowing your speech beforehand gives you that flexibility and allows you to be a lot more comfortable.
When you arrive at the podium take a deep breath and engage the audience with your eyes and smile. Take a moment to calm your nerves and use your nervous energy as a way to energize your speech. Allow your audience to feel your excitement for what you are talking about.
Project your voice when you speak in front of an audience. This is particularly true if you do not have the benefit of a microphone. You want everyone in the room to be able to hear you, so do not be afraid to speak as loudly as necessary to accomplish that. There is no point in making a speech that most of the audience cannot hear.
Never assume that you are going in front of a hostile audience. They are giving you their time and attention. They want to be informed, captivated, entertained and moved. Visualize them clapping for you, because they probably hope you give them reason to do just that at some point.
The most effective way to refine the message of a speech is to practice it. Practice the speech in a mirror to see what you can do better. See if you can get someone to listen to it so that they can advise you of points that could use improving.
You will win your audience over if you add a little humor to your speech. There is nothing wrong with trowing in a joke or two and putting a smile on your audience’s faces. However, do not go overboard on the jokes, as your audience will not take you serious.
Arrive half an hour early for your speaking engagement so that you can familiarize yourself with the room. Determine where you will be during the presentation. Figure out what path you will take to get to the podium. Be sure to have a glass of water placed on the podium. By taking care of these small details, you will feel more comfortable while speaking.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you fled rather than risk having to speak in front of others? If so, you need to take control. Use the information and guidance presented above whenever necessary and make a conscious decision to become a skilled, confident public speaker staring now.