Whether you are a college student or whether you are a seasoned business professional, there comes a moment in the life of every person that is necessary to speak in public. Speaking in public can include many instances… If you need to make a speech at school, make a sales pitch at work or talk to your colleagues in a meeting, speaking in public is part of life. Make the most of the situation with these tips and tricks.
- Make sure you stay focused once you get out and start talking. Your message will not be well received if you get too far off the subject. Do everything you can to stay on the original theme, or you may risk driving a large part of your audience away.
- Be sure to wear a pair of support shoes when speaking in public. You want your posture to be high and safe, with your shoulders open and relaxed to portray confidence. If you get tense on stage due to foot, knee or lower back pain, it will greatly affect your speech.
- If you want to give a good public speech, it is very important that you prepare properly beforehand. Have your facts and statements solidly in place. If necessary, investigate your key points for a better understanding of them. Write on the paper what you hope to talk about. Take the time to practice your speech in advance until you know it easily and well. Being prepared will give you the confidence you need to be an effective public speaker.
- If you have to speak publicly, try to keep it in twenty minutes or less. This is the average attention span of most people, so talking for longer than this is going to risk boredom. If you have to talk for longer than this, find a way to shift gears in the middle to animate things.
- Know your environment. Get there a little early and take a few minutes when you arrive to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. If you can arrive early, go to the podium and make a sound check before your audience arrives. If you have visual aids, practice using them while you are orienting with your surroundings.
- Never drink before you have to speak in public. People under the influence tend to slur their words or forget them completely. You can go to the podium and think that you have everything under control only to realize that it was wrong. That is why you should avoid taking any type of alcohol.
- Make eye contact with members of your audience. Doing so makes them feel as if they are speaking directly to them and helps them keep them engaged. It also makes you look confident and balanced. Watch several members of the audience as you speak, to help as many as possible participate.
Avoid getting upset when talking in front of an audience. Playing with your hair, biting your nails and other similar behaviors can distract the audience and hear what you have to say. Instead of remembering your message, you may remember that you continuously smoothed your hair. If you find it hard to stop shaking, put your hands in front of you or behind you, or place them on the stand. As mentioned earlier, there will come a time when you should talk to a multitude of people. No matter the reason or the size of the crowd, it is important that you do it well. If you heed and follow the simple suggestions I listed above, your public speaking skills will improve dramatically.