Public Speaking Tips

There are a number of techniques that can be employed before you deliver a speech to ensure that it goes smoothly. Some, such as arriving early to the venue are fairly obvious, while others, such as gargling with warm salt water, are a bit less traditional. All, however, offer you the chance to prepare and perfect your speech before you step out in front of the audience.
  • As mentioned above, gargling with warm salt water can be of assistance. It helps to relax the throat, making it easier to speak clearly and enunciate.
  • Practice your materials. A lot. This will ensure that, no matter how nervous you might be, you won’t forget what you want to say.
  • Carry a few well-placed notes with subject keywords (or include them in your slide presentation) to help jog your memory if you do feel yourself starting to forget what you want to say.
  • Arrive at the presentation site early. This will give you a chance to set up, relax, and review your notes before you have to go on stage. It’s always better to start off relaxed than arrive late and tense.
  • When you arrive, familiarize yourself with the room. This is important as it will tell you how much room you have to move, where the audience will be positioned, and what equipment considerations you need to make. Knowing these things beforehand means you can’t be surprised when you get on stage.
  • If there’s a technical aspect to your presentation, familiarize yourself with the equipment beforehand. Load your slideshow and click through it before the audience arrives to make sure everything works as you expect. Check the sound on the microphone. If there is an audiovisual technician, befriend them.
  • Greet the audience as they arrive. Establishing this personal relationship means they’ll want you to succeed even more, and knowing the faces you’ll be seeing before you step out in front of the group means that you’ll be less nervous when you see them.
  • It is possible to channel all that nervous energy you might have into something far more positive-enthusiasm. The chances are you’re speaking about a subject of importance to you. Take that feeling of importance and use that nervous energy to show your enthusiasm. If you’re excited about your topic, your audience will be too.
  • Keep your finger underneath the part of the speech you are on so that you know where to continue from when you need to look down at your notes.
  • Remember that the most important element of public speaking is the message. The fact that you’re delivering it via a speech is not that important. What does matter is that you’re communicating your ideas. Celebrate the fact that you’ve gained the importance in the eyes of your peers to have ideas worth sharing instead of worrying about how you are delivering the information.
  • Humor can smooth over even the messiest of bumps. If you can laugh at yourself, the audience will laugh with you, and the chances are by the end of the presentation, they won’t remember your gaffe at all.

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