Making a confident speech can be the scariest thing to do. There are many times in your life when you have to make one. At your college, University, at a wedding or even for a sales pitch at work. If you are confident when you make a speech, the whole process will be so much easier.
Remember that everybody is nervous before making a speech. But this level of nervousness is dependent on what you have done before the speech.
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Tips To Make A Confident Speech
This is my personal favourite. In my speeches, one of my main objectives is to make people laugh. Not only does it engage the audience, it also relaxes you. If people laugh, you feel like they are on your side. You feel calmer inside, and the process of delivering a speech does not seem so bad. If they do not laugh, don’t worry. Your jokes are just not as good as mine 🙂
2) Practice And Be Prepared
This goes without saying, but it is amazing how many people do not practice and think “it will be ok on the day/night”. It will not be ok on the day/night. People will see that you have not practiced as you stumble and grope for words that you can not remember.
Practice involves saying the speech over and over again to friends, family, the family dog and yourself in a mirror. You need to get to the point where you know the speech by heart, and you can deliver it without notes. Nothing is more distracting than a speaker who looks at his notes. Or who drops a note on the floor and goes blank?
Practice and be prepared, and your nerves will thank you for it!
3) Visual Aids/Props
Some people are able to use a flip chart, an overhead projector, a laptop and other visual aids with ease. I can say I am not one of those people 🙂 But I do know how to deliver a great speech with a flip chart and props!
The best advice here is to use what you are comfortable with. I like to write my bullet points on the flip chart before my speech. Then when I speak, I can refer to the points on the flip chart, and it keeps the audience engaged. Also, a major bonus is that if you do have a blank, you can refer to your flip chart to remind you where you are. Your audience will not even realise that you are doing this.
Make sure that you have at least one visual aid that people can look at. You may be the most amazing speaker with a beautiful voice. But you do need something that people can look at to keep their interest from wandering.
Deliver your speech as though nobody in the room speaks your language, as a native language. Remember this and speak slowly and clearly. If you are unsure about your speed, check with a friend or family member and ask them to be honest with you.
Your audience is looking forward to hearing your speech, so why not let them hear it? If you start speaking quicker in the middle of the speech, do not panic. Stop, when appropriate, relax and start again at a slower pace.
5) Do not fidget
Fidgeting is an indicator of nerves. It can also be a major distraction for your audience. Instead of listening to you, they will start watching you fidget. This means you have lost them.
If you know you fidget, it is even more important to have followed the tips above. If you have, you should be able to keep your fidget under control and deliver a speech with confidence.
If you would like to know more about delivering speeches. Check out Toastmasters.
I gained my Competent Communicator in Toastmasters and loved every minute. Not only will you learn how to make a great speech, but you can also make some new like-minded friends.
If you need some more tips on how to boost your self-confidence before the big day, check out this article