Are you part of the 73% of people who have a fear of public speaking? If the thought of delivering a speech makes you want to run and hide, you’ve come to the right place for help.
In this quick guide, we’ll cover some of the most important tips to remember before you give your next speech. As a result, you’ll feel more prepared, and maybe, just maybe, you won’t dread public speaking quite as much.
1. Keep It Simple
When you’re asked to speak somewhere, it’s a chance for you to show off your expertise. However, resist the urge to get too in the weeds with your speech.
Generally speaking, your audience will appreciate a simple, to-the-point speech that has clear takeaways more than a long, in-depth talk that seems to go on forever.
Make sure that your speech has one key message that every point relates back to and try to use the following structure:
- An intro that explains what the audience can expect
- No more than 3-5 main points
- A conclusion that summarizes the speech
Any more than that, and you risk losing your audience.
2. Engage Your Audience
People tend to have short attention spans, especially when listening to someone else talk, so you need to find ways to keep your audience engaged throughout your speech.
You can do this by incorporating humor into your speech when appropriate and using nonverbal communication tactics like hand gestures and expressive body language.
You may also consider having a visual presentation along with your speech. Some people learn better visually, so having slides to accompany your speech can engage your audience in new ways and help them remember your speech even after it’s done.
Look into these presentation trainings if you need to refresh your presentation skills before your next speech.
3. Practice More Than You Think You Should
One reason so many people stress about public speaking is the fear of having their brain go blank in the middle of speaking. Help prevent this by rehearsing your speech several times. While you don’t want your delivery to come off stale or too memorized, you should have your introduction down, so you don’t risk stumbling early on.
Then, you should know the main points you want to cover and a solid idea of how to end your speech. Of course, don’t be afraid to use notes during the speech as well, to help keep you on track.
4. Focus on How You Talk
Finally, pay attention to how the words come out of your mouth. Speaking clearly and slowly is one of the most important things to remember so you don’t overwhelm your audience. You should also project your voice so no one strains to hear you.
And, don’t forget to take deliberate pauses after important parts of your speech. This gives your audience a chance to catch up on notes and it helps to remind you to slow down.
The Keys to Delivering a Speech
Now that you’ve read through our top tips for delivering a speech, you can feel more prepared for your next presentation. Time to start writing and practicing your masterpiece so you can captivate your audience!
Looking for more tips like this? Take a few minutes to check out our other helpful articles!