Tips for giving a speech

When you’re going to talk at a meeting, see the boss, or give a speech, it’s normal to be nervous. Dorothy Leeds, author of Power Speak gives this advice that helps:

  • Prepare. Make an outline of what you will say. Do a dress rehearsal to see how you look even if it’s just a raise request to a supervisor.
  • Check the meeting plan. Know when you will be able to speak.
  • Visualize yourself doing well, having a successful talk with the boss or making good points at the meeting.
  • Memorize a few opening sentences. After that you can look at your notes.
  • Walk calmly, take a few deep breaths as you wait to speak. Arrange your notes and materials.
  • Don’t forget to breathe when you are speaking. If it helps, put a symbol in your notes indicating breaths.
  • Watch your gestures. Don’t hold a paper if you are shaky.
  • Learn to pause. It lets the audience catch up with you.
  • Never tell the audience you are nervous.