Every speaker wants their next speech to be a successful speech. We do the things that we know that we have to do: we select a topic, write a speech, practice it, and then we end up just hoping that the importance of public speaking will make everything work out for us. However, it turns out that we can take matters into our own hands. Our success is something that we have control over. If we know what we need to do, and if we do it, then we can ensure that the next speech that we’ll be giving is going to turn out to be a success!
Take The Time To Pre-Check Everything
The last thing that any speaker wants is to be surprised when we show up to give a speech. What this means for us is that we have to take matters into our hands. We need to take action days before we’ll actually be giving our speech. You need to get in touch with the people who have asked you to give a speech and find out about the microphone that you will be using and if there will be a lectern or a podium. On the day that you will be giving your speech, show up early and check out the room where you will be speaking. Determine where the audience will be siting. Check out to see if you’ll be able to see all of them when you are giving your speech. You’ll want to determine if you’ll be speaking from a stage or a platform and just exactly how close you’ll be to your audience. Get ready to make any decisions about how your speech will be presented as you stand in the room.
Double Check How You Will Be Introduced
The one thing that no speaker ever wants to do is leave to chance is how they are going to be introduced before they start to give their speech. You need to understand that the speech that you are going to be giving could be hampered by a poor introduction. Introductions can run on too long, contain incorrect information about you, or skip over the reasons why you are the best person to be making this speech. Your job is on the day that you’ll be giving your speech, find the person who will be introducing you and make sure that they know three facts, credits, or accomplishments that make you the right person to be giving the speech that you will be delivering.
Dress The Part
I’m pretty sure that by now we have all heard the well-worn phrase “Dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have.” Well guess what, there is a public speaking version of this phrase and it goes like this “Dress how you want to be perceived, not how you perceive yourself.” For most speakers this means that you want to show up wearing business casual or more formal clothes. You may even want to get more dressed up. Don’t worry – you can never overdress to give a speech. What you wear will show your audience just how much you value the speaking opportunity that you have been given.
Plan For Your Q&As
It is all too common for speakers to work hard at creating the perfect speech only to fumble and stumble through the Q&A session that comes afterwards. Instead of allowing this to happen to you, take the time to plan your answers. You want your audience to be impressed with your responses to their questions. Take the time to practice what you’ll say so that when the time comes, both your mind and your mouth will work together to make sure that you sound like you know what you are talking about.
Memorize Your First And Last Sentences
Both the beginning and the end of your speech are the most important parts of the whole event. As a speaker you want to take whatever steps are required in order to make sure that these parts come across the way that you want them to. We all realize that if we don’t do a good job of either starting or finishing our speech, then we may have just wasted our time giving the speech. This is why it is so very important that you take the time to memorize the first words that will come out of your mouth and the last ones too. This allows you to go onto auto pilot when you are starting your speech and when you are ending it and makes sure that you’ll always do a perfect job of it.
What All Of This Means For You
As speakers, we’d like every speech that we give to be a powerful reflection of how good we are and allow us to share the benefits of public speaking. We’ll always do all of the right things, but we also understand that there are a lot of things that we may not be able to control. However, the good news is that with a little bit of extra effort on our part, we can take control of our speaking environment and boost our chances of delivering a successful speech. We just have to know what to do.
The first thing that we always need to do is to pre-check everything. This means getting in contact with the organizers days before our speech to find out about details like microphones and stages. On the day of the speech, we need to make sure that check out the room that we’ll be giving our speech in before we take the stage. Our introduction will set the stage for how our speech is received by our audience. What this means is that we need to coordinate things with our introducer in order to make sure that they’ll get it right. How you look will influence your audience and so you need to be sure to make sure that you look sharp. You don’t want to fumble the Q&A’s that will come after your speech so you need to practice them in order to get your words right. Finally, take the time to memorize your opening and closing words so that you’ll get them right every time.
As speakers we need to understand that we don’t control everything. However, since we really would like every speech that we give to go well, we need to find ways to try to make all of the little things work out for us. If you take the time to follow these suggestions before you give your next speech, you will have a better chance of being successful and delivering a speech that will have a real impact on your audience.
Question For You: What should you do if your introducer has everything all wrong?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When we give a speech, we are doing so for a reason. We understand the importance of public speaking and we have information that we want to share with our audience. We’ll take the time to understand what we want our message to be, we’ll craft a speech that we believe will deliver that message and then we’ll go out on the stage and deliver it. However, if it turns out that the message that we’ve been asked to deliver contains bad news, we’ve got an extra challenge on our hands. We now have a sensitive topic that we have to clearly communicate to an audience that really does not want to hear what we’ll be telling them. What’s the best way to go about doing this?