No matter what field you are in, there will likely come a time when you have to give a powerful speech to friends, colleagues, or even complete strangers. There are many people that struggle with the process of writing and delivering speeches. However, being able to give great speeches is often a necessity for those looking to achieve success. While honing your speech techniques can take some time and effort, there are a few tips to consider that can help make the entire process easier. Keep these important tips in mind as you work on becoming a better public speaker, as they can really end up paying off in the end.
Let the Room Settle Before Beginning
There is nothing that can damage your ego as much as beginning a speech to a crowd full of uninterested listeners. If you start your speech too early while the crowd is still settling in, you can find yourself talking over people or speaking while a bunch of people are getting up, moving around and settling in. They may actually be interested in what you have to say, but I can come across as the audience being uninterested and take a major stab at your ego. A great way to avoid having this happen to you is to stand up in front of everyone and wait for the room to settle down before you begin. If you do this, and give yourself plenty of time to let things die down before you talk, you will find yourself speaking to a more engaged audience.
While it can be tempting to try to rush through your speech so you can quickly get it over with, it is important that you take the time to really slow down. Take a deep breath, pause as you need to and talk slower than you think you should. Most people actually talk much faster than they would normally when delivering speeches, and don’t even realize it. If you take the time to really slow down, you won’t risk losing your audience and they will be able to follow what you have to say and keep up with your message. Make sure that you practice several times and practice talking slow every time you are in front of a mirror. You will naturally speed up by a few seconds, but when you practice, slow, clear diction is key.
Don’t Be a Robot; Loosen Up!
This is an important tip, especially for those who are nervous when they speak in front of others. You may feel stiff, tight or uncomfortable, or be tempted to read directly off of your cue cards when you are about to speak. This can make you look and act just like a robot. You don’t want to be a robot, you want to be an engaging and motivating speaker. Loosen your shoulders, take a deep breath and focus on talking to your audience instead of reading to them. This will help you come off as a more personal and engaging public speaker and go a long way in improving the message you are about to deliver.
Keep these easy tips in mind when you prepare for your next public speech. These simple, yet straightforward tweaks can really go a long way in improving any person’s public addresses.