Last Updated on April 8, 2016
Public speaking is something that many people dread. It does not have to be complicated, and in fact you can improve your skills in this area. Thankfully, you came here, and if you would like to be better at public speaking, then continue reading. Below you’ll find many solid tips that are recommended by professionals who specialize in public speaking.
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.
Time your speech. This ensures your speech fills the time you have. If it is short, get more information through research to fill your time slot. Finally, don’t rush when speaking.
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.
Keep a loud and commanding voice throughout to make sure it is memorable – this is doubly important if it is a big room such as a conference venue or meeting room.
Some people prepare their notes for speaking in public by using a tablet or other device; however, this is not necessarily a good idea. Murphy’s law is sure to strike and leave you with a dead battery, a stolen device or some other catastrophe. Be safe and write your remarks on index cards as well as keeping them on your mobile device.
Avoid fidgeting when speaking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, chewing on your nails and other similar behaviours serve to distract the audience from listening to what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, they may remember that you continually smoothed your hair. If you find it difficult to stop fidgeting, clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you, or place them on the lectern.
Practice your speech each day. You will feel more at ease with the material once you have done this. While having your speech memorized is positive, also make sure to keep your notes nearby at the podium. That way, if there’s a point you forget, you can make a quick glance at your notes to jog your memory.
Take the time to memorize your speech. Try practicing in the mirror and use different facial expressions and hand motions. Ask those closest to you to listen to your presentation as well. These people can assist you in improving the content as well as the delivery of your speech.
Take your time while delivering your speech. One sure fired way for the audience to know that you are nervous is to rush through your speech. Instead, take a deep breath and calm your nerves before beginning. Speak slightly slower than normal when giving a speech to ensure that your audience understands what you are saying.
Use note cards if necessary. While memorizing a speech can help, a hard copy isn’t a terrible idea. You may simply use notes to highlight the key points of your speech.
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 alienating some people.
Eye contact is critical during public speaking engagements. Although you may not be able to make eye contact with every member of a large audience, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Before your speech, identify key members of the audience and their assigned seating, if possible. This enables you to make the greatest impact on the most important audience members.
As you can see from the above article, anyone can improve their public speaking skills with just a few solid tips. The biggest thing though is practice, and since you have these tips to follow, there is no reason why you should wait any longer. Get out there and show the world how much better you are at public speaking!