1. Be Prepared. Practice, Practice, and more Practice!
a. Public speaking can often be at times scary and extremely intimidating. Pounding
heart and trembling hands are the automatic physical reaction that can happen before a performance. But don’t let that fool you! You can take this energy and get pumped before delivering your speech. Practicing your material over and over will increase your confidence and help you become more prepared. Practice in front of your friends, record yourself, and get critiqued! These habits can definitely help you feel more comfortable when it’s showtime.
2. Know Your Audience, and Let your Personality Show
a. Remember who you’re conveying your message for. Gaining a sense of
understanding between you and your audience will help you be able to know how to craft your speech and what kinds of trends cater to them. By being more comfortable with them, they will be more comfortable with you. So let your personality show! Start with a joke, anecdote, or use different tones in your speech. Establishing credibility and trust will gain their attention and be more inclined to listen to what you have to say.
3. Expressive Communication is Key, and Watch out for Fillers
Filler words, such as “um,” “uh” and “hmm” can often be distracting and take
away the validity of your message. Speaking comes with confidence, so always watch out when you occasionally slip out an “um” when going from sentence to sentence. When practicing, count how many times you use these fillers and try to minimize them as much as possible. Confidence is key!
Expressive communication is very important when delivering a speech. If you’re hands are already shaky, use your hands as a compliment to your speech throughout, moving them to emphasize your points. Eye contact and expressive communication will keep your audience engaged and listening.