Learning how to give a speech can be scary, something about talking in front of a large number of people brings out those fight or fleet emotions in everyone. As it has been said countless times; fear of public speaking is one of the big fears that most people have.
Something about feeling the possibility of being rejected by so many people at the same time just isn’t pleasing.
This is how I used to feel, and guess what? I made it. At some point I became an avid public speaker. This is what I’ll teach, how to give a speech regardless of being a ‘shy guy’.
Public speaking is literally is no different than talking in a small group, one on one or to yourself. Think about it, the only thing that changes is the amount of ears listening to your beautiful voice, right?
Somehow just the fact of being heard changes everything. Practice makes perfect and only experience will make it easier, in the meantime; here are seven tips that will help you learn how to give a speech and not freak out about it.
First thing is to realize that literally everyone is scared of public speaking, you are not inferior because you feel scared; being scared if anything makes you a normal human being.
Mispronouncing words, shaky voice, forgetting what to say, etc. Those are the most common ideas of what could go wrong and the ones that when the time to give a speech comes are lingering in our minds.
Use those ideas in your favor, allowing yourself to ‘mess up’ takes away the pressure and therefore allows you to do a better job in your delivery.
Use the logic that causes you to feel scared to feel relaxed. Once you realize that all you have to do is let the words come out of your mouth you can convince yourself to feel less anxious about it.
Overthinking will only lead you to become self-conscious, this is when you start rambling on unimportant and oftentimes bad details that will only make you more stifled.
In my experience, the best thing you can do before doing any kind of public speaking is:
Learn the first 10 words of how your speech will go.
Memorize or write down the general points you will address.
That’s it; then again this is just what has worked for me as a natural shy guy. It works because when you’re under pressure your mind tends to ‘block’, this makes your memory hard to access; and memorizing a whole speech just makes the whole process much harder.
Once you’re up there and your audience is listening; a great tip is to break the ice as soon your speech starts. In the first couple of minutes you can just break the ice with a funny comment and dissipate the tension.
This helps both; your audience connect with you, and more importantly helps you relax a lot.
About four years ago, I had to give a speech for a charity organization I was working for at that moment. I still wasn’t too good at giving speeches; so I got an idea, I asked the people involved in the organization if there would be any kind of visual aid. Turns out there would be a projector available, so I made a presentation for my big speech.
Since the topic of the event I was going to give a speech in was ‘how has this charity organization affected your life’, I decided to tell my whole life story. So I thought, ‘how can I make this funny?’ So I thought of starting the speech with my personal presentation, my name, position, etc. Then I’d go on with the phrase ‘I’ll start this speech from the beginning’, click on the projector a make some embarrassing baby pictures of me pop-up, the whole audience cracked in laughter. I immediately relaxed, the whole audience felt a connection and it all just became smooth sailing from there on.
Unless you are giving some kind of technical lecture, I see no point of overusing big words. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a broad vocabulary, but when it comes to big audiences; ‘easy to understand’ is better.
People remember their experiences based on how they felt at that moment, our memories are strongly engrained to our emotions. Connecting with your audience in any way will make the difference between a memorable speech and a ‘please make it stop’ speech.
The purpose of effectively learning how to give a speech is to communicate a message, keep this in mind, train yourself to jump in and get talking and later on if you want you can take it as far as you want.
Get your basic ideas and get going! Go out and get social!