Speeches — Some people love to be in front of a crowd and feel comfortable with public speaking. But more often than not, speaking in front of others is nerve-wracking.
There are many websites devoted to public speaking. I found some great tips at: https://blog.dce.harvard.edu/professional-development/10-tips-improving-your-public-speaking-skills
Some tips and tricks include:
Practice – Talk in front of as many people as possible. Recruit friends, family, teachers and administrators to listen to your speech and provide feedback.
Be comfortable – Try and relax when on stage.
Don’t be scared – The audience wants you to succeed and is interested in what you have to say.
Be you – Your natural voice and personality should shine through.
Nervousness is normal – Almost everyone gets nervous before speaking in public.
Use an attention grabber – Start your speech with something that captures your audience’s attention.
Make your closing memorable – End your speech with a strong memorable statement.
Use your voice and hand gestures effectively – And avoid nervous gestures.
“Practice does not make perfect.” You may practice over and over, but still make a mistake in front of your audience. That is okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself or loose sleep after your speech is done.
-Jessie Ross, OK BPA State VP