“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” ― Winston Churchill
Public speaking is very much like swimming. To learn how to swim you must first overcome your fear of water. How do you do that? By getting into pool as often as possible and trying again and again. The first few times you might swallow some water, but once you get self belief, picking up the techniques is not so difficult. The same with being on stage! You first need to build your trust and lose your fear. This comes only with practice. Following are 11 ways to speak with poise in front of large audience;
1. SPEAK CLEARLY AND WITH POISE
Don’t swallow your words or go soft at the end of sentences. Get your best friend or a family member to sit across the room from you while practicing. Can you be heard? Are you enunciating the words clearly?
2. SPEAK IN SHORT SENTENCES
We often lose ourselves in long winding sentences. Speaking in shorter sentences also lessens the chances of you speaking incorrect grammar.
3. YOUR OPENING
Your start is important. You should begin with a short anecdote or a joke, but don’t overdo it. Never make personal insults or use abusive language.
4. MODULATE YOUR VOICE
Don’t speak in the same tone. Your speech should resemble a speeding train, sometimes you need to go slow, and sometimes you need to pick up speed. To stress on a particular point, you sometimes need to drop your voice to a whisper and sometimes be forceful.
5. BE RELAXED
Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing well. But, too much nervousness is not good. Five minutes before you go on to stage, sit down alone comfortably with your back straight. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds, and then slowly exhale. To relax your facial muscles, open your mouth and eyes wide, and then close them tightly.
6. MAKE EYE CONTACT
Look at your audience when you speak to them. The trick is to select three to four spots towards the back of the room and speak looking toward them. Occasionally look around the room.
Remember he who fails to prepare is preparing for failure-so Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
8. TRY HUMOR
Humor is the most wonderful tool that any good public speaker uses. A little humor not only relaxes you, but also warms the audience towards you.
9. YOUR CONCLUSION
Don’t walk off abruptly. Once you finish your speech, remain there for a few seconds and then smartly walk back to your seat.
10. THINK POSITIVELY
Imagine yourself walking smartly on to the stage as the audience applauds. Imagine yourself speaking with clarity, conviction and enthusiasm. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.