If the thought of speaking in public puts you into a tailspin, you’re certainly not alone. Millions of men and women of all ages share your fears. Anxiety doesn’t just affect you physically; it also compromises your ability to get your point across. Fortunately, there are many strategies for developing your public speaking skills.
When speaking in public, make sure that what you have to say is engaging, otherwise you risk boring the crowd. Regardless of what you have to say, it will not go over well if it is boring. Practice your speech on people you know to see how the message you are giving is being received.
Do not speak publicly and expect people to follow your thoughts. You must work hard to get their attention and even harder to keep it. You really are performing, so you need to put lots of effort into it.
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.
Know your audience when giving a speech. Learn how far your voice carries if there is not a microphone. Use any equipment to get a feel for it. Learn the proper use of visual aids that you are incorporating. Determine how much eye contact you’ll be able to make.
Prior to giving your actual speech, practice it in front of a loved one. When you are done, ask them which parts of the speech are fine and which parts need some improvement. You may even want to read it to a few people. This feedback can help improve your speech.
Have a memorable ending if you hope to have your audience remember any of your speech. The end of the speech will set the tone for the entire speech. If you have a boring ending, your audience won’t remember it.
Try to find humor in the situation if things do not go as planned. There are many variables when you speak in public, which means that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. The microphone or projector may not work, there may be an interruption in power or someone may enter the room in the midst of your speech. Try to take things in stride. Taking things too seriously can result in you having a meltdown, so try to laugh off any issues that may arise.
Consider your appearance. The audience is not likely to listen to you when your state of dress or grooming skills are distracting. Consider your audience when you think about what you are going to wear. Suits work well in for most speeches, but consider something more casual when speaking to younger audiences.
If you plan to give multiple speeches within a short period of time, take care to protect your vocal cords. A hoarse or inaudible voice is not likely to sway audience members’ opinions. Sleep with a humidifier in your room, sip hot tea, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Make your audience feel comfortable when you are about to speak. This is not to say that you should start right out with a joke. Just use a story that is easy for your audience to identify with, and you’ll be on the right track. This is one way to establish an initial connection with the members of the audience.
Each of these tips has proven effective for individuals who once shared your apprehension. With the right mindset and motivation, anyone can deliver their message regardless of the audience size and environment. While you may not ever look forward to future public speaking engagements, you can be sure that you will no longer dread them.