Learning to speak in public can be a very intimidating process. However, it can be very beneficial for work and professional settings. You can overcome your fears and learn to speak with confidence. Practice the following advice to become more comfortable. The more you work on this skill, the better you will be.
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 who you’re speaking to. Ask about the people that are going to be the audience. Prior to the speech, even say hello to some of them at the door. Your speech will be much more relaxed if you feel friendly with the audience.
It is important to realize that most people really want you to succeed. The most important thing is to deliver relevant, interesting information. To help keep your speech entertaining either tell a story about yourself or a joke to warm the crowd up. This will not only warm the crowd, but it will also allow you to relax.
Make sure that the beginning of your speech is a moment to relax. Greet and address your audience. Then pause for three seconds. This gives them a chance to focus on you, while you get a moment to transform your nervous energy into enthusiasm for the material you are about to deliver.
Stay as confident as possible when in front of a crowd. Pick something to talk about that you have personally experienced and are truly interested in. Keep a conversational tone to keep the attention of your audience.
Before giving a speech, connect with the audience. If possible, walk around and personally greet people, but always remember to smile. Doing this will help you feel confident.
Be sure to practice your speech well in advance. Practice often so that you can deliver your thoughts naturally and smoothly. Use a timer to perfect the length of your speech. In this way, you will neither leave your audience hanging with time to spare, nor force them to stay longer than they wish.
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.
If you have to give a speech in front of an audience, practice in front of a mirror. Certain hand gestures and expressions can emphasize on a point that you are trying to make. Watching yourself in a mirror can also help you see things about your appearance that you can improve.
If there are problems with the lighting, the sound equipment or anything else, take it in stride. Don’t get angry or overwhelmed. Stay dignified and helpful until the problem is resolved. Pick up your speech where you left off and just move forward. People will remember your grace under pressure.
Practice as often as you can before it is time to speak to the crowd. Practice in front of a mirror and make changes if anything sounds awkward. Then, use people in your life as test subjects and ask them for a critique. Practicing your speech helps you perfect the words and the delivery.
Grab your audience from the get-go with an interesting fact or statistic. Avoid lengthy greetings or excessive thanks of the person who has introduced you. Jump right in and deliver your material with confidence and conviction. This will keep your audience’s attention and make an excellent, memorable and lasting impression.
Know what your strengths are. Frame your speech around your strengths. For example, if you can tell a great story, tell one that your audience will enjoy. Find a way to incorporate the story into your speech in such a way that it flows seamlessly into the presentation of the facts you need to get across.
Enjoy your time up on the stage. Public speaking may feel scary, but if you can let go and just enjoy it, you’ll find it surprisingly liberating. You’ve got the microphone, and others are here to hear exactly what you’ve got to say. You may even find yourself smiling.
Now you know some of the tips used by masters of public speaking. Use them in your own life to help boost your confidence. The more comfortable you are speaking in public, the greater your opportunities to advance in your profession. Take notes from what you have just read and apply them to your situation.