5 Tips for Your Public Speaking Performance

Public Speaking is not a profession, neither it’s a specialty. At some point in our lives, almost all of us are required to deliver a speech in front of a crowd of people, whether that be our peers, colleagues, or a group of strangers, whether that be 10 people or one thousand. More people, according to a research, are afraid of public speaking than of spiders. And many people, while speaking in front of public, have that terrible fear and confusion and sometimes mess everything up. So, how can we help you to have a better speech tomorrow? Let’s see.

1. Be always prepared.
Know your topic and always be prepared. Typically, start preparing for your speech one week before. It is proven to show the best result if you prepare for your speech long before. We will talk about it a little bit later. Always remember to have a clear message in your mind. When a speaker has a clear message in his head and heart – an inner urge to speak, he is almost sure to do himself credit. A well-prepared speech is already nine-tenths delivered.
After you have picked the right topic you are comfortable to talk about, start searching for materials. Library? Internet? Friends? Investigation? All of these “tools” can help you with that. As Mr. Carnegie said – “Speech cannot be constructed in 30 minutes. Speech has to grow”. So, let it grow in your mind. That is why you need to start preparing for it one week before.
Always remember the most important rule: If you don’t know your topic and you are not comfortable with it, you will most likely fail. If you don’t “feel” what you are talking about, you will not be enthusiastic and the audience, as well, will not feel the right contact.

2. Have notes before, not during.
What do notes do? What role do they play?
Notes resemble the very core idea and supporting facts lying under your topic. It is very essential to take notes, because the ideas that come to your mind spontaneously can disappear as quickly as they came. When you write it down on a piece of paper, it will stick to your mind and will not be forgotten. When you prepare for you speech one week before, you have enough time ti gather ideas, facts and examples to support your main point.
The best thing to do is to write those ideas on paper and later sit down and arrange them in order. While doing that, you will figure out what your main points are (try not to have too much, 2 or 3 will be enough), what supporting examples and facts are, using which you will fill in the gaps between your points. And finally, you will get rid of all the unnecessary information on the notes.
Notes are very important while preparing, but if you started your speech, NEVER use notes. Don’t bring notes with you, because it will distract you. Don’t read notes, don’t even take a glimpse at them, because your audience will think you are not prepared (which, indeed, will be the truth), and you will end up forming an impression of person that doesn’t care about what he or she is talking about.

3. Relax, it’s fine.
Even if it sounds rude, remember you don’t do revolutionary work; you are not inventing a bicycle. All you are doing, is just talking.
So relax. Remember that it is the very first seconds of your talk that cause fear and uncertainty, if you can overcome those, the rest of your talk will flow independently, if you have the passion to speak and the message to deliver.
Imagine the person that you can talk to about the topic for hours without any sense of fear or confusion. Imagine that person is sitting there at the moment. Let’s call him Arthur. Now imagine that the whole audience consists of many Arthurs. This will help you relax, because you are talking to Arthur. Always have in your mind – audience is a group of persons, and if you can talk to anyone individually, you can do it with the group as well.
Act confident. To feel confident – you need to act as if you are confident. And you will get rid of that terrible feeling when you’re climbing on stage.

4. Be yourself.
If you think there is a universally true way to dress in front of public, or to learn certain gestures to use, you are more than wrong.
Being oneself has always been proven to be the most successful way in terms of delivery. If you sit down and learn gestures that famous people used during their speeches, you will be more than revealed and fake. If you try to copy speeches, or to present mere analysis of news you read, it will not cause satisfaction and excitement. Always have something “yours” in your speeches. If you feel comfortable with your own gestures, even though they may seem odd, feel free to use them. If you prepare a speech about an event, always have your opinion about it. The audience wants you, remember it.
Dress appropriately, look professional, but do not overdo it.

5. Say “hello” and “Thank you”
Opening is very essential in a good public speech. And we don’t mean first 45 seconds to attract everyone’s attention. What we mean is – be kind, show courtesy, always remember to smile before the talk begins. As you talk, keep your smile on your face; never give up your enthusiasm.
If it is possible, point to somebody, say something about them. Something positive. Stand your ground firm, always face the audience, rest your hands and show your openness.
When you are about to close your speech, slow down your intonation, make pauses, because you want to have their full attention for your final closure.
And always say magical “Thank you” in the end with a big nice smile on your face.

So, now you have the essential tips. Next time, when you have a speech, make sure you follow each of the steps to make it easily delivered.
Good luck!

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