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.
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.
If you have to speak publicly, try to keep it at twenty minutes or less. This is the average attention span of most individuals, so speaking for longer than this is going to risk boring them. If you have to speak for longer than this, find some way to change gears in the middle to liven things up.
Try to relax before and during your speech. Breathe deeply and remember that you are well-prepared, so you have nothing to worry about. Some say that it helps to envision your audience members in their underwear to help you relax. This sort of visualization can help you look and feel more relaxed while speaking.
Make eye contact with your audience members. Doing so makes them feel as if you are speaking directly to them and helps keep them engaged. It also makes you appear confident and poised. Look at various members of the audience as you speak to help engage as many of them as possible.
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.
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.
Visit your hairdresser on the day of your speech. Nothing gives you more confidence than looking and feeling great. Purchase a new suit which makes you feel good to bolster your confidence levels. Audience members will take note of you when you are dressed for success and exude a sense of confidence.
Dress well, even if you are speaking to a casual crowd. If you look and feel sharply dressed, your speech will reflect it. Men ought to wear a tie since it makes the audience focus on his face and thus, his speech.
Be sure you are very familiar with your presentation so you’ll feel confident when speaking publicly. Make a thoughtful topic selection, preferably one that you know well. Keep a conversational tone, you are are sure to impress the audience with what you know.
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.
Practice meditation to prepare for your speech. Imagine yourself doing well, feeling comfortable, speaking clearly and enjoying yourself. Imagine that your audience is interested and appreciates what you are saying. When you take the time to imagine a good experience, you greatly increase your chances of actually having a good experience.
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.
When it comes to public speaking, you need to make sure you practice your speech. Practicing several times before your actual speech can make you become more comfortable with your material. Reading your speech out loud can also help you revise your speech. This is also your chance to get rid of filler words and better your pacing.
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.