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You should know your speech by heart. After you're able to recite completely from memory, then it's time to polish up on your delivery. If you have the speech down pat, it gives you an opportunity to add lib as you go through it in front of a crowd.
It's vital to know about everything that you will be talking about during a speech. Even when you commit your speech to memory, knowing jokes, facts and figures with regard to the topic is always helpful. If you have time, you can add in some of these things throughout your speech as needed. This can also reinforce your speech when answering questions or providing follow up conversations.
Once you have your speech memorized, repeat it often. Practice as often as you need to in order to perfect the speech. Practice your pace and master breathing. Make sure to allow a little extra time for applause during your speech. When you can, practice using your speech equipment.
Focus on telling true stories to help improve your public speaking. Figure out exactly what you want to say before the day of the speech. The story needs a defined beginning, middle, and a clear ending for the best communication of ideas. If you relate the story to something personal or some other event that truly happened, your story will be more natural.
Get to know the room in which you are going to speak publicly. See if you can tell how sound travels without a microphone. If there is equipment you'll be using, learn about it before the speech. Make sure you know the right way to use visual aids or any relevant equipment. Figure out how much eye contact should be made.
The most effective way to refine the message of a speech is to practice it. Practice giving your speech on your own so you are able to make improvements where needed. See if you can get someone to listen to it so that they can advise you of points that could use improving.
You should practice your speech regularly. This will help build your confidence since the material will become second nature. Don't forget to bring your hard copy with you when you deliver your speech. This helps if you forget something since you can peek down at them for a refresher.
Make sure you look good, even if the talk is an informal one. Your attire can help you to feel more confident, which will carry over into your delivery. Men should try wearing neckties to direct the audience to their faces so that they better focus on your speech.
Stay away from alcoholic beverages before making your speech. While it might seem wise, it can actually backfire. You do not want your speech to fall flat because you are too intoxicated to remember what you wanted to convey in your speech.
Before you begin your speech, make sure you have already engaged the audience. Smile cordially at them when they are seating themselves, and shake hands with them if possible. Presenting yourself in a positive light before your speech prepares the audience to listen to you with interest.
Before you deliver the speech, visualize you successfully delivering your speech. You want to visualize the speech and the audience reactions. Watching yourself speak and hearing the listeners react well can help you feel more prepared for the actual event.