Most people at some time in their life have to go before an audience and make a speech. No matter who you are talking to, you want your words to make an impact. The following advice will help you with your speech, no matter the occasion.
Don't assume that people will automatically know what you mean. Getting the attention of an audience isn't always easy and keeping it can be even harder. Think of this as a performance, and that means you need to work harder to get the reactions you are looking for.
Time yourself to find out how long your speech is. This ensures your speech fills the time you have. If you find your speech is lacking length, add a little extra information to help fill time. Never rush when you are delivering a speech publically.
Practice your speech frequently once you have it memorized. You'll get smoother at your speech by practicing it often. Practice your pace and master breathing. Give yourself some pause time after making key points. If at all possible, you should practice giving your speech using the equipment that will be used.
Take a look at the environment you are about to speak in. Understand the distance your voice can travel. Implement equipment if need be. Figure out what you want to do with your visual aids. Figure out how much eye contact you must make.
Know the crowd makeup before you give the speech. If you know who is attending, it will help you to engage them better. If possible, greet them when they arrive. Having a feeling of familiarity with some audience members can make the whole presentation or speech feel more friendly.
Gain an understanding of the audience. If you can, learn who the individuals are who are expected to attend. If possible, greet them as the enter the room and ask their names. Getting familiarized with some of the audience can make the event feel friendlier.
Take the time to fully understand your material if you hope to give a great speech. Pick something to talk about that you have personally experienced and are truly interested in. Keep a conversational tone and your audience will be impressed with all your knowledge rather than be confused with all the complicated jargon.
To have a truly memorable speech, work on a great ending. You want the entire thing to be memorable, but chances are, your audience will best remember the last few things that you say. Do not end with something boring so you can stay memorable.
The most effective way to refine the message of a speech is to practice it. Try using a mirror or tape recorder to help you hear and see yourself during practice sessions. You can also practice in front of your friends or family for constructive criticism.
Prepare with note cards if you need to. You should memorize your speech, but you should also have a copy of it with you. You don't have to have the full speech spelled out, but writing down main points can help you make all of your essential points and omit nothing.
You needn't be a politician or a gifted orator to deliver an effective speech or presentation. Being prepared and confident are the most important parts of giving a good speech. You may find that these public speaking tips actually improve the way you communicate both behind and away from the podium.