If you have always stayed away from speaking in public, just know that you aren’t the only one that feels this way. Many people are fearful of speaking in public. However, the following tips can help you overcome your fears and improve your speaking abilities.
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. It is up to you to grab their attention and hold on to it. You are performing for them, and speaking confidently to win them over is key to achieving the desired results.
Make sure your speech is memorized. When you can recite it easily, you can work more on how you will deliver it. Once you have the speech memorized, you can ad lib once you are on the stage.
While delivering your speech, look at your audience. Don’t let yourself become distracted. You are attempting to convince the audience of something, so they need your full attention.
Understand who your audience is. Ask about the people that are going to be the audience. If you are able to. try greeting some of them and learning some names. Having a feeling of familiarity with some audience members can make the whole presentation or speech feel more friendly.
You may want to consider using a story to engage your audience. Before speaking to the audience it is important that your speech is outlined. Your story should have a clear beginning middle and end for better communication of your ideas. If your speech is based on your real-life events, then you will seem more authentic and natural.
If you have skipped some of the information in your speech, continue talking rather than getting yourself and the audience confused by an awkward flow of words. If you stop and backtrack and try to correct your error, you will end up with a big mess. If you ignore the mistake, your audience is less likely to notice.
Even if you are speaking at an informal event, dress nicely. If you feel that you look good, your speaking will reflect that. Men should want the focus to be on their face as they speak, so think about wearing a necktie.
Do not indulge in alcoholic beverages prior to delivering your speech. Though it may work to loosen you up, that might just be a bad idea. Alcohol can cause memory issues and may make you stumble over your words.
Rehearse your speech every day. This will give you confidence because you are very familiar with the material. You should have notes with you, even if you have it memorized. They can be a real help if you’ve forgotten a section and you need to get back on track.
Note cards can be useful. While it is best to have your speech committed to memory, having a hard copy handy is not a bad idea. Don’t worry about having the full text of your speech with you, just be concerned about the important points you’re going to make so you can make sure you don’t forget any of them.
Even when nervous, never apologize. Even if you feel that you are not doing very well, the audience may have a different impression. Should you make an error, simply correct it and keep going. There is no need to apologize.
Speak with a clear, strong voice when speaking to a group. Try to have water available during your speech. Try to steer clear of soda or milk prior to your speaking engagement. Beverages such as these cause your saliva to thicken and can cause your body to produce excess mucous. A nice cup of warm tea just before a speech can help relax tense vocal chords.
Think positively about your speech. Feeling a bit nervous is perfectly ok. There are so many other people who feel the same way before public speaking, too. Thinking negatively is not okay. If you assume your speech will be a disaster, it likely will. Know you will do a great job and you will.
To help quell your nerves prior to delivering a speech, try to visualize yourself as a member of the audience. Do you think you’d make a big deal if your speaker made errors? Would this make you think less of the person? If you happen to make a mistake in your speech, don’t let it get to you. You will be more upset with yourself than your audience will be.
Try not to announce to the audience that you are really nervous about giving your speech. It is unnecessary and takes away from your speech. It’s not uncommon for a speaker to assume that the people they are speaking to can see how scared or nervous they are. The truth is that most people will not notice. Make your audience think you are confident, even if you aren’t.
Speed should be monitored when speaking in public. Nerves can speed up your voice, which can make your audience miss main points. Slow down to an excessive degree, and you may put them all to sleep. Practice your speech beforehand many times to deliver it at the perfect speed.
Have you always dreaded speaking in public, even in school? Do you have great ideas that no one is going to hear because you can’t calm your nerves long enough to get a word out? You don’t have to be quiet any longer now that you’ve learned these tips.