If you’ve ever asked for advice on public speaking, chances are you’ve heard some rather absurd responses. True, imagining your audience in their underpants may distract you from your anxiety momentarily. However, effective public speaking requires more than the absence of anxiety. These tips offer up a host of ideas to improve your experience speaking in front of groups.
Know the audience that you will be speaking to. To help you get to know the audience, greet people as they enter and engage them in some conversation. By doing this, you will feel more comfortable when you go to the podium. It is much easier to speak to people you know.
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.
Try telling true stories to better your public speaking. Make yourself a solid outline of the facts to base your speech on. Make sure the story is complete from beginning to end. Your story will seem natural if it’s a real one.
When making a public speech, become acquainted with the room. Learn how far your voice carries if there is not a microphone. Practice using the equipment before the event. Understand the best ways to use visual aids. Get a good feel for the best ways to make and hold eye contact with your audience too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you speak to a large group, it is essential for you to have a voice that is clear and strong. Have a cup of water with you while delivering your speech. Do not drink cola or dairy beverages on the day you’re giving your speech. These fluids thicken your saliva and may even stimulate mucous production. A nice cup of warm tea just before a speech can help relax tense vocal chords.
If you use a computer program to present pictures and information, be sure that you know how to operate it. The last thing you want is to waste the time when you are supposed to be speaking with a lot of computer fiddling. Practice your speech and your visual aids presentation thoroughly.
Videotape a couple of practice sessions of your public speaking engagements. When you can see yourself in action this way, you can easily see what you can improve upon. It may be the way you move your hands or the expression on your face. Seeing this on film gives you a more objective perspective.
Be sure to make good eye contact with your audience. If you are really prepared and know your speech well, this should be easy. Look around the room in a relaxed way. Make eye contact and connect with individuals here and there throughout the audience. In this way, people will feel that you are really addressing them.
One way to better your public speaking skills is by gaining experience in public speaking. After you have groups of people sit through a couple of your speeches and respond positively to them, you will start gaining authority status. This can boost your confidence and help you become a better speaker.
Take a look at the venue where you are scheduled to give a speech prior to the event. This will give you a good idea of where the audience will be sitting and where you will be speaking. It will help set you at ease when you get there since the place will be a bit familiar.
Experiencing anxiousness before and during your time in the spotlight is normal, but it’s also unproductive. Your best bet is to take a more comprehensive approach to public speaking. Before your next engagement, practice following these important guidelines. You will find that your confidence is improved and that you are better able to communicate your message.