10 top speaking tips for speeches and presentations
1. Speak at every opportunity. Even the best speakers need to practice often. Practice incorporating humour, personal stories and natural body language. Videos or audio recording are great learning tools.
2. Know what you are talking about. Pick something you are passionate about. Know more than you say. Use key points rather than written notes, this encourages conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say, as often happens in a learned speech.
3. Practice. Practice. Practice out loud with all the equipment you need for your speech. Revise, as necessary, written English is different to spoken English. Work to control fillers such as Um and Ah. Practice pauses and breathing. Practice with a timer and allow time for audience reaction and the unexpected. Top speaking tips – practice.
4. Greet your audience. Get to know some of the audience as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to people you have met than to strangers.
5. Know your space. Get to the venue early, stand in the speaking area, get used to the feel. Practice using the microphone and any props or visual aids you may need.
6.Engage the audience. It calms your nerves and makes you seem more confident. Pause, smile and really look at the audience before saying anything.
7. Visualise yourself giving your speech comfortably. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and feeling comfortable. Visualise the audience clapping as you sit down smiling afterwards– it will boost your confidence.
8. People want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be engaging, interesting, informative and entertaining. (Top speaking tips)
9. The audience and message matter. Focus on your audience, answer their questions “Why should I listen, why should I care?” Forget your own anxieties and focus on your message, and your audience.
10. Don’t say sorry. Apologising draws attention to mistakes and nervousness. The audience may not notice it if you do not draw their attention to it.
10 speaking tips
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