It is not uncommon for people to feel a sense of dread when they are asked to speak in public. Standing in front of a crowd of strangers and delivering a speech can be difficult even for experienced speakers. To make this task easier, use the following advice on public speaking.
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.
Do not give your speech without going over it many times. Sometimes, people think it is okay to just get up the podium and figure out what they are going to say right there and then. The thing is, you may find yourself unable to keep the speech going. Be sure to create your speech and go over it numerous times.
Do not allow anything to distract you while you are speaking in public. It is crucial that you don’t participate in activities like twiddling your thumbs or jingling keys. This will give your audience the idea that you would rather be doing something else than be there talking to them.
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.
Never tell the audience that you’re sorry for being nervous or any other issue that comes up. Chances are they didn’t even notice in the first place. Even if they do, coming across as lacking in confidence detracts from your position of authority on your speech that you are making.
If you are asked to speak about an unfamiliar subject, be sure to make the most of your research time. Study a wide variety of texts, videos and actual examples of your topic. Talk with people who know about it. When you speak, you can choose to talk about your research and share what you have learned rather than attempting to present yourself as an actual expert.
Use YouTube to watch and view the masters of public speaking. Watch not only for their content, but also for their styles and habits. Pay close attention to famous moments and replicate such mannerisms sparingly for specific effect. Watch speeches of your favorite presidents or other national leaders, as you can find videos going back decades.
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.
If you must do a lot of extemporaneous speaking, be sure to keep up on current events and topics of interest. In this way, you will always have something new and interesting to say. Remember that it is usually best to choose a complimentary approach rather than a humorous one unless you are extremely sure of your ability to amuse people!
After your speech is written, do many practice runs so that you nearly memorize it. Watch your facial expressions and gestures in a mirror. Do a few practice presentations in front of friends to get some feedback. Good preparation ensures that you will make the best presentation possible.
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.
Many people start a speech with a joke in order to grab the audience’s attention, so keep this in mind as you are figuring out what to say. If you are going to tell a joke, make sure that it is tasteful and on topic. Otherwise, you risk alienated some of them.
Do your best to deliver unique information to your audience instead of telling them things they could have easily gotten from someone else. You need to make it clear that it is you that they need to listen to. Do research to make sure that you are not giving them duplicated content.
Be sure to use appropriate visual aids to make your speech more interesting. A picture or an object is worth a thousand words and can add depth and dimension to your presentation. Be creative in your choices of visual aids. Photos, paintings, sculpture, souvenirs, charts, graphs and many other types of objects can help you get your point across clearly.
Strong, clear voices are vital to speeches before crowds. Try to have some water nearby during your speech. On speech day, don’t drink any dairy or soda. These fluids could thicken your saliva when delivering the speech. Drink a little tea to help relax those vocal cords.
If you can, look over the room and environment where you will be making a speech. Check how big it is, how good the acoustics are and get comfortable in the front of the room. The more familiar you are with room, the more at ease you will be when you have to make your speech.
Being able to deliver a speech in public is a very valuable skill to possess. You never know when you might be called upon to speak in public, and the advice that you have read here will help you do so successfully. Keep it in mind if you find yourself in a position where you have to address a crowd.