The very thought of speaking in front of a large group of people can be enough to bring on an anxiety attack; even if you are usually the calmest person in the room. The good news is that even professional speakers get nervous and that there is a way to beat the fear and become a great public speaker:
The game plan
Every story has a beginning, middle and an end. A speech is the same. You need to start by connecting with your audience; this is then followed by ascertaining the key points of your speech. Finally, the speech is wrapped up by drawing the points together and reminding the audience why they are there. A good story or speech will have the audience hooked from the start. The story will help to build empathy. You should focus your speech on the important point or points.
This is the climax of your speech; by the time you reach this everyone should feel like they are part of the story. It will also ensure your audience becomes emotionally attached to you and your speech. If you picture yourself making a great speech you will not worry about failing, you will simply do it!
If you are very nervous about speaking it can help to have a few friendly faces in the crowd. This can give you someone to look at who will reassure you. They can also help the rest of the audience to warm to you. Talk to your best friends and ask them to attend your presentation. Their friendly faces will certainly help you gain more confidence in your abilities.
Know the subject matter
Before you give a speech you must practice as many times as possible. This will help to overcome nerves as well as ensuring you know your subject. If you know a subject and have a passion for it, speak with that passion. It will show through and educate your audience while endearing them to you.
Be yourself on stage
The most important part of any speech is that your audience can connect and relate to you. For them to do this you must come across as genuine and the best way to achieve this is to actually be authentic. This will show your audience you are human and they will be able to relate to you.
An extension of this tip is to be certain that you know yourself and how you operate best when speaking to a large group of people. Once you know your own needs you can build your speech around them and the needs of your audience. The message will be more relevant and you will seem more like a person.
Every audience is different and each different one is looking to receive something different from your speech. This means it is essential to know your audience before you start your speech. Knowing if they are young or old, male, female or even have a specific view of your subject can help you to write your speech according to their needs.
Breathing is vital
Your breathing needs to be calm; this will help you to remain calm. You should breathe out frequently and as you do so take a pause, allow your message to be absorbed by your audience. You can also breathe in to emphasize the big finales.
Speak from the heart
It is important to speak from the heart. Instead of preparing the entire speech and risking boring the audience as you read it, you should make sure you simply have a few important cue cards. These cards will prevent you from getting to far off topic and provide you essential pointers.
Perhaps the most important point to make is that a good speech will connect with the audience and that this connection is formed through an emotional bond. Be sure to write your speech with this in mind to achieve perfect results every time. Expert entrepreneurs advise speakers to remain focused on the subject line. Avoid fluff sentences and look your audience in the eye. Last but not least, use your body language to entice the audience and act naturally to grab their attention.