Have you been wanting to know how to speak in front of an audience? For a lot of people this can be a very nervous moment. In fact, speaking in front of an audience has been said to be scarier than the fear of heights…or death! Once you understand that basics of speaking in front of an audience this doesn’t have to be a scary situation any longer. I’ve been speaking for quite a while and will never forget the first time I spoke in front of an audience.
For me, the first time I was learning how to speak in front of an audience was at a Toastmasters meeting here in Kaneohe, HI. For me, I had to do my first speech called an “ice breaker”, which I thought was going to be quite simple. All I was required to do was to stand in front of a group and talk about myself and my life for 5 minutes. I did what I was told to do by preparing for a week, drafting my speech, and making sure all the important details about my life were covered. Heck, this was the first time I was ever going to speak in front of an audience, but I didn’t think it was going to go as it did.
For me, I’d been a business owner, an athlete, a Sailor in the Navy, and at this point in my life…I was used to being in front of people. I’d even been the lead singer in a band at one time in my life. For me, this was going to be easy, but I just wanted to be ‘ready’ so I studied a lot, drafted and re-drafted, and then the big day of my speech came.
This Is Not How To Speak In Front Of An Audience
The day came when it was my turn to deliver my ‘ice breaker’ speech and this was definitely not how to speak in front of an audience! I walked up to the stage, started to say, “Aloha, my name is……’blank’!” There it was, the sweaty palms, the face growing red with embarrassment, and all the horror stories I’ve ever heard about speaking in front of an audience. How was this happening? How did I forget everything I’d written down to prepare me for the 5 minutes of my speech?
Being stubborn and not wanting to quite on myself, I had volunteered for 5 minutes so I stood up there on stage in silence, sweating through my shirt, scared to death…for 4 more minutes! I just could believe what was happening because I’d been so ready and done what everyone told me to do about writing out my speech and being well prepared. Had I not studied enough? How was I forgetting something as easy as talking about myself?
What I Learned About Speaking In Front Of An Audience That Worked!
The thing I learned that worked for me when it came time for me to learn how to speak in front of audience that worked was to ‘draft’ and keep it a ‘draft’! Yes, for me I realized that it wasn’t going to be an easy operation for me speaking in front of people and audiences if I was going to continue to follow a format that never worked in the first place. I never liked memorizing things and following along a set guideline in anything I did in my life…so why should speaking to audiences be any different right?
So, I’ve put together a bit of a script that I’ve tended to stick to since the first successful speech I finally did give…which was the 2nd time I ever had to speak in front of an audience!
- Break Your Speech Into Parts – The best way to truly speak in front of an audience is to break you speech up into a few parts. 1. Opening 2. Middle 3. Closing and don’t get any more complicated than that. This allows you to remember talking points, but remain flexible so you can gauge audience participation during your speech. For me, this is great because I can tell if I am maximizing audience participation or not, which is very helpful depending on the type of speech you are giving.
- Memorize Points, Not Words – When you memorize points instead of words its really easy to move along through your speech because your mind will keep having ‘aha’ moments pulling you from one point to the next almost on auto pilot. Another benefit about this method is that you wont have to be rigid in your speaking engagement. Nothing say’s dry and boring like listening to someone rattle off memorized words in a monotone fashion.
- Speak From Your Heart – Yes, you can interject your heart into nearly everything we do and it’s no more powerful then when it’s conveyed in a message. I’ve always believe that we can be passionate about nearly anything we do in our lives once we find the right direction and view point of that thing. When you speak to an audience, do so with passion and emotion and they’ll appreciate you for it. I say this because it tends to be rare, so when people hear someone speaking through their heart…it’s typically well received. If you really want to know how to speak in front of an audience, this is a great way to begin!
This should point you in the right direction as to how to speak in front of an audience. Another great resource if you are looking to help your company be able to speak with people is Dale Carnegie Training as well. A lot of people around you will be surprised that you have learned how to speak to an audience and you may even get a bit of recognition for it. I’ll never forget the feeling I had after the first successful speech I gave here in Hawaii and how people treated me afterwards. I was a new person because I finally knew how to speak in front of audience.