Know Your MaterialPick a topic you are interested in. Knowmore about it than you include in yourspeech.Use humor, personal stories andconversational language – that wayyou won’t easily forget what to say.
Practice, Practice, Practice Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected & any questions.
Know the AudienceGreet some of the audience membersas they arrive.It’s easier to speak to a group of friendsthan to strangers.Think about what the audience is thereto hear – make sure your speech isrelevant.
Know the RoomArrive early, walk around the speakingarea and practice using themicrophone and any visual aids.Find out ahead of time whatequipment and technology will beavailable.
RelaxBegin by addressing the audience. Itbuys you time and calms your nerves.Pause, smile and count to three beforesaying anything. ("One one-thousand,two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.)Transform nervous energy intoenthusiasm.
Visualize yourself giving theSpeech Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.
Realize that people wantyou to succeedAudiences want you to be interesting,stimulating, informative andentertaining. They’re on your side.
Don’t apologizeIf you make a mistake, just keep going– the audience probably won’t evennotice it.Use pauses to gather your thoughts.
Focus on the message, notthe mediumFocus your attention away from yourown anxieties.Concentrate on your message andyour audience.Use a logical structure to keep themessage on track and flowing.
Gain experienceMainly, your speech should representyou — as an authority and as a person.Experience builds confidence, which isthe key to effective speaking.Take every opportunity to gainexperience: your Rotaract/Rotary club,universities, birthdays, weddings,anywhere!
Final Thoughts Public Speaking is a learned skill that can be practiced and improved. Use the smaller opportunities to practice for larger ones – e.g. giving presentations to your club will help prepare for giving examples at Preconvention. Enjoy!!