Sometimes you need to speak before a crowd. No matter who you are talking to, you want your words to make an impact. This list of public speaking pointers will surely make you a better all-around speaker.
You must not think that just because you are talking, people are listening. Therefore, you must be very clear and to the point if you want to engage them. Public speaking is a performance, and it takes work to get real results.
Practice makes perfect. You'll get smoother at your speech by practicing it often. Make sure you master proper pace and breathing. Be certain your speech timing allows for potential applause or other interruptions. If you can, use the same equipment for practice that you will use when giving your actual speech.
It is important to have your main, broad concept clear in mind before writing your speech. Do a lot of research so you have not only your point of view, but others as well. Choose your points carefully. Choose your words with care, and make clear notes that are easy to follow. Doing so will help you when it comes time to answer questions.
When making a public speech, become acquainted with the room. See if you can tell how sound travels without a microphone. Use any equipment to get a feel for it. Learn how you can use any of the visual aids if they are present. Make eye contact with the audience as much as you can.
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. Do not pause to go back, it might set you off course. Most likely people won't even realize you made a mistake, so there is no reason to go back and correct it.
To give a great speech, you have to practice. Try recording yourself giving the speech. Listen back to the tape to identify any areas of weakness. However, it is best to practice before loved ones, so they can give you constructive advice.
Dress well, even if you are speaking to a casual crowd. It will help to reflect a professional attitude. Men should try wearing neckties to direct the audience to their faces so that they better focus on your speech.
Do not touch alcohol before your speech. Although it may seem like a good idea to help bolster your confidence, it is a bad idea. You don't want to risk forgetting what you want to say just because you decided to have a drink or two prior to your speech.
Know your material inside and out, and confidence will follow. Make sure that you pick a subject matter that you are well versed in and personally passionate about. If your tone is conversational, that will give you an upper hand. Nobody wants to be confused by complicated jargon that is difficult to understand.
Get on your feet and practice any speech on a daily basis. You will know every nuance of the speech if you do this, which will help make you more confident. Even if you have committed your speech to memory, always take some notes with you to the lectern. This helps you quickly get back on track if you lose your train of thought during the speech.
Be sure to go out with a bang for a very memorable ending to your speech. Your whole speech is important, of course, but the conclusion is likely what is most remembered. If you end in a boring manner, people will not remember your speech for very long.
Strong, clear voices are vital to speeches before crowds. If you can, try to have some water nearby when you speak. Do not drink carbonated beverages or a lot of dairy products on the day you are to speak. Beverages such as these cause your saliva to thicken and can cause your body to produce excess mucous. Hot tea prior to your speech can help relax the vocal chords.
Don't let your visual aids be so eye-catching that they distract from you. They should enhance your speech. If you're offering up too much as far as visual aids, they will be distracting and overwhelming. Visual aids that are made well and emphasizes key points are ideal. Your visual aids should be attractive and colorful; however, they should not distract your audience from your speech.
Prior to getting to the meat of your speech, try and get the audience to connect with you. You do not have to open with jokes to do this. You can tell anecdotes that are relative to your speech. They will be drawn into your anecdote almost immediately.
Winging it should not even cross your mind when it comes to public speaking. This is a bad idea regardless of the depth of your knowledge or passion with regards to the subject. You might get away with something passable. The problem is, you might also forget some very important details along the way.
Make sure you are in a good mental state. There is nothing wrong with being nervous. Speaking in public is the number one fear identified by most polls. Just don't think any negative thoughts. By thinking you won't do well, you probably won't. Know you will do a great job and you will.
Prior to delivering a speech, know your audience. Each audience is bound to have different expectations with regards to your speech. Businessmen will be expecting to learn something new from you. Family and friends want entertainment. Know your audience and cater to them.
If you are nervous, put yourself in the audience. If the person making the speech made an error, would you laugh at them? Would you hold this against the speaker? It does not need to be a big deal if you happen to make a mistake; you are likely your own worst critic.
You don't need to be a good actor or politician to give great presentations or speeches. Confidence, mastery of the material and good old fashioned practice can make your speech a winner. Soon you will see how much better your skills are at public speaking thanks to the tip learned in the above article.