Every person reading this has undoubtedly had to speak in public at least once in their life. Giving a speech seems like an inoffensive task at first. However, when the moment comes to actually talk, many feel paralyzed. Fortunately, this can be solved. You can be an excellent speaker by following a few simple public speaking tips.
Your next public speech could be the turning point in your life. Students, entrepreneurs, and corporate employees all need to know how to perform in front of an audience to succeed. For that purpose, here you have some useful public speaking tips to become a master of this art.
20+ public speaking tips
1. Prepare and practice as much as possible
The first advice on the list is to rehearse your speech on and on. This is a straightforward way to lower down your nerves. Knowing that you practiced for hours or even days will help you get rid of any signs of nervousness when you’re in front of the public. But wait, because there are ways to make rehearsing time even more useful.
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2. Practice with someone you know
Have someone watch you rehearse and spot flaws in your performance. You’d be surprised by how much doing this can improve your speech. Experts consider this technique so powerful that they record themselves on tape while practicing a speech when they are alone. This way, it’s possible for them to look for mistakes.
Rehearsing in front of a mirror works similarly. Doing so allows you to better master your facial expressions nonverbal behavior in general.
3. Practice with distractions
Also, some people find it helpful to practice with distractions. Rehearsing with background noise or playing with kids can enhance your concentration.
4. Slow down to engage the audience
Engaging speech is a successful speech. The speed, tone, and volume we use as we talk are essential tools to achieve positive communication with the audience.
For example, speaking too quickly mostly shows that a person is nervous. Additionally, we risk not being understood if we don’t take our time to pronounce words correctly. Of course, talking too slowly is not appropriate, as it will indeed bore the public.
Speak naturally, and you’ll give the impression that you are a highly confident speaker.
5. Don’t use the same tone and volume during the speech
Regarding tone and volume, great public speakers know they must use different tone and projection throughout the speech. In fact, this is one of the hidden public speaking tips used by successful stand-up humorists. The tone and volume variations keep people engaged and entertained as they hear the speech’s different topics.
6. Pause your speech
Taking a pause, even a long one, boosts the impact of a speech. In the first place, and in line with not talking so quickly, it makes you appear confident. Moreover, a timely pause in your speech helps you emphasize specific points.
A pause gets the audience to reflect on what you just said, increasing the impact of your message.
7. Eye contact
Making eye contact with the audience helps you become better at public speaking in more than one way. Firstly, it makes the audience feel involved. Thus they become more engaged. As you speak, make eye contact with as many people as possible.
Eye contact establishes a connection between you and the public. It makes them feel you care about them. Whether your speech is intended to sell or teach, making eye contact is especially important to achieve your goal.
8. Avoid unnecessary reading
Constantly reading notes or slides prevents you from making eye contact. As a result, you don’t communicate effectively. Only read when you absolutely must.
9. Correct body language
Body language experts say that our bodies don’t know how to lie. And our nonverbal behavior has a similar impact on the audience than the words we say. Therefore, controlling movement and gestures is vital.
Fortunately, there are ways to display effective nonverbal communication while speaking in public. In the first place, inspirational public speakers don’t create barriers between them and the audience. That’s a clear sign of nervousness. Avoid things such as having the arms crossed all the time or hiding too much behind a podium. An open body language allows an emotional connection with the audience.
Other gestures or body language cues to be conscious about while we talk have to do with self-touching. Typically, these gestures are subconsciously intended to release tension. Doing them throughout a presentation denotes anxiousness. The most common self-touching cues include:
- Knuckle cracking
- Lip biting
- Touching one’s hair, ear, or face
- Hand wringing
- Putting hands in the pockets
10. Unnecessary accessories
The way we look also speaks for ourselves. Just like with gestures, our clothes and bags can play against us on a subconscious level. As a general rule, public speakers should avoid carrying more than one accessory with them. Preferably, briefcases, coats, and other extra items are better outside the audience’s view during the presentation.
11. Body language basics
With basic body language techniques, you can turn any regular speech into a captivating one. However, practice is required to make these tactics part of your ordinary public speaking skills. These nonverbal moves include:
- Showing your palms to the audience
- Smiling (mildly)
- Standing straight
- Moving around the stage a bit (if possible)
12. Add a personal touch with a story or joke
You can certainly stand out by adding a subtle personal touch to your speech. In fact, personal anecdotes are used both in writing and speaking communication.
Telling a story about yourself can make people feel identified with you and find your speech more interesting. Likewise, a joke based on your experience about the topic keeps the audience engaged in your speech.
13. Prepare your mind before the speech
As the time to speak in front of a broad audience gets closer, tension rises. However, spending a few minutes alone can improve your concentration. Clear your head, say to yourself that you know the topic, and keep a positive mindset.
14. Be yourself and try to have fun
Credibility is critical when trying to convey a message to an audience. For that purpose, you need to be authentic and talk as you would do it regularly. Then, people will trust what you’ve got to say.
Also, you must enjoy the experience. Although having to speak in public can produce some anxiety, if you have fun – a little bit, at least – it’ll be more comfortable for the audience to follow your presentation.
15. Speak in public if the opportunity comes
You need to speak in public in real situations to practice the public speaking tips and tactics you learn. Although rehearsing helps you at this, it doesn’t provide the actual fear of public speaking brought by being in front of dozens of people. The more speeches you give, the more comfortable you’ll feel the next time.
16. Speak confidently
Social skills can be learned. Most of the time, people who seem like extroverts are just acting like such. That means you can project confidence during a speech and captivate the audience. Even when you are trembling with fear on the inside.
Acting with confidence will also make you feel confident, positively impacting your speech. The key is thinking that you own the room.
17. Deliver a strong message
A frequent issue that erodes a speech is offering apologies or showing uncertainty about the topic. Avoid saying things such as “I’m not so sure,” or “I think that maybe.” This makes speakers look nervous and unprepared.
The best to do is spend enough time researching the veracity of your speech. Likewise, be aware of any time that you apologize for your ideas while you’re rehearsing and correct it.
18. Be acquainted with the environment
You’ll get a lot more nerves giving a speech at a venue you’ve never seen before. So, try to prevent this from happening. For that purpose, get early where the speech will take place and take a little tour by yourself. When the time to talk comes, you’ll feel more comfortable.
19. Make sure your equipment works
Arriving early also allows you to test the equipment and visual aids before the speech. Technical difficulties ruin a speech’s momentum, and knowing that everything will work fine will make you calmer.
20. Keep your speech under a reasonable time
A long speech is not necessarily an extraordinary one. Several reasons make short speeches better than long ones most times. For example, a lengthy speech has more chances of losing engagement. Besides, all events must follow a schedule, and a prolonged intervention threatens the agenda’s compliance.
21. Ask for feedback after the speech
Failing is an inherent part of success. What’s important is to learn from our mistakes and do better next time. An excellent way to improve at public speaking is knowing what the audience thought of our performance. Although it could be hard to receive criticism on a hard-worked speech, it will encourage you to raise your next presentation standards.
Many have learned and you will, too
Probably, you already give fantastic speeches. However, If you are still not the best public speaker, do not fret. Some of the most famous speakers are tremendously introverted in their daily lives. But they are no longer afraid to speak in public, as they learned the same public speaking tips you just read.
It’s time to put these tips into practice and bring out the skilled public speaker inside you!