It’s well known that preparing for a presentation will help you execute it more smoothly. What isn’t so common, however, is knowing the right way to effectively prepare for a speech.
Know your stuff. Simple as that. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from ‘blanking’ or forgetting everything we learned once we feel the pressure of everybody listening to us. The key to resolve this issue is to rehearse with pressure to get accustomed to this uncomfortable situation. Using the Beyond VR application is a great way to feel the pressure of public speaking wherever and whenever it works for you. To learn more click here.
Step one is to not bring up your entire speech on a script. It is speech suicide if you were to do so. A better option would be to bring up cue cards with nothing more than your main points. This way, you’re speaking more naturally, and you won’t get caught up on trying to speak word for word from what you originally wrote. The cue cards aren’t there for you to read off of, but instead there if you get stuck and lose your train of thought. This will help you maintain consistent eye contact with your audience.
Something that often gets overlooked when you’re delivering a speech the next day is sleep. A lot of people like to leave things to the last minute and cram the night before, but this is probably the most effective method to a bad speech. When you’re more rested and mentally awake, your mind has an easier time processing thoughts and is able to deliver a speech much more smoothly. Even if you lose your train of thought, your mental sharpness from the good sleep will allow you to get back on track without missing a beat.
Your outfit is the first thing that your audience sees before you even say a word the audience has already made perceptions and judgments about you. So dress the part. If you’re unsure of what you should wear, a good rule of thumb is it’s better to be overdressed, rather than underdressed.
After you’ve prepared and it’s just about time to deliver your speech, take about 10-15 minutes and just envision yourself crushing it. Just take some time, close your eyes, and imagine yourself on stage, giving your speech with 100% success. A common confidence killer is a negative thought in the back of your mind that tells you this speech will be a disaster. Get rid of those thoughts and flood your mind with the image of you getting up there and perfecting it.