Public Speaking Tips

If you have ever had to make a speech to a large group of people, you know that it isn’t just what you are going to say that gets you tied up in knots, its how you say it that often makes you nervous.

If you have ever had to make a speech to a large group of people, you know that it isn’t just what you are going to say that gets you tied up in knots, its how you say it that often makes you nervous.

Once you have a good idea of what you want to say to people, you have to have an sense of how you will present your speech. The best, most prolific writing can fall flat if it is not presented well, once you open your mouth.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for your next speech:

  • Don’t start talking right away– people have a tendency to launch into their speech the second they are introduced. This shows everyone that you feel a sense of urgency. You want to get it over with because you are insecure and afraid. Instead of rushing it, take your time. Walk quietly to the front of your audience, to the stage, or wherever you are going to make your speech. Take a deep breath, wait a couple seconds and then begin. The audience will see that you are calm and collected.
  • Speak slower than you might normally- remember people are trying to take in all that you are saying, process it and form an opinion. They need time to do this before you move on to the next thought. Also, talking fast is another sign that the speaker is nervous.
  • Understand your audience – if you have a good understanding of the audience and what their goals are, you can better address them and feel comfortable being in front of them.
  • Determine your key message –if you repeat a simple key phrase throughout a speech it can really help bring your point home. An example of this is, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. repeating, “I have a dream”, in his famous speech.
  • Project your voice- many people tend to speak from the throat, instead of the diaphragm so stand up straight and speak from your diaphragm so that you are loud and clear.
  • Make eye contact –panning the audience with your eyes disconnects you from the audience, but making eye contact one on one creates a real connection. Try one on one contact for a sentence or thought with one person before moving on to eye contact with another.
  • Ignore negativity- if you notice people in the audience frowning, looking bored, or shaking their heads “no”, try to ignore them and focus on those who are smiling or who have positive body language. You will be more relaxed and confident if you ignore negativity.

Some people are naturals at both writing and delivering speeches, while others may be good at one, but not the other. Either way, a little extra thought and planning can get just about anyone through the task of giving a speech.

 

 

 

 

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