Be ready for your next public speaking event. These five tips are easy to do and will help you shine.
Public Speaking Tips
- Material matters.
Besides bringing a smile to your audience, or causing them to feel inspired, the message is what matters. Everything begins and ends with your content. Know what you want them to know. Bring them there.
- Be confident.
Relax. The audience is on your side. They are real people. Think of it as a conversation with one person multiplied by the entire audience. They are invested in you succeeding and are ready to be taken where you want them to go. Let this help you believe in your ability to deliver your speech well.
Then, practice some more. Learn where the periods and paragraph breaks are and allow them to slow you down. Say slowly any tricky words. Memorize passages so you can look directly at your audience for longer periods of time, as well as leave the podium. Remember the podium is a pivot, not an anchor.
- Keep going.
When giving a speech and you fumble the words (and sooner or later, you will), do not say, “homina homina homina.” Well, unless you are Ralph Kramden. No filler speech. Don’t draw attention to the goof. We all know what happened. Instead, regroup. Start that sentence over without missing a beat. Anything else will magnify the problem. You, however, have a chance to show you are a pro.
- Know the venue.
If you can, arrive a day or two early and practice in an empty auditorium. Imagine an audience watching you. Go through your speech a few times. If you have props or a PowerPoint presentation (which I recommend against), use them (or pretend you are using them). Speak loudly, assertively, just as you will on the day or your speech. If the room feels like home, you’ll speak as if among family.