Effective speech delivery is an important part of public speaking. No matter how inspiring, informative or persuasive the speech you have written, poor delivery will leave your audience feeling flat, and your presentation will be less than memorable.
There are some (lucky!) people that seem to be born to speak in public. The rest of us, however, may need a little coaching and prodding to deliver our speeches more eloquently.
Whilst it might take some work to feel like a polished pro, using the following practical speech delivery tips will certainly help to get you on your way to being a more effective, dynamic speaker.
The way you present yourself, physically, begins speaking for you before you say your first word.
When you get up to speak before an audience, make sure that your body language does not betray you. Practice good posture, but avoid being stiff.
Even at a formal business event, you do not want to appear wooden in your physical appearance. Avoid fidgeting and keep your head high.
Little signs of nervousness can damage your presentation, so try to keep these kinds of nervous tics at bay. If you're struggling, try holding a tiny object such as a paper-clip. Some people find that unobtrusively playing with such an item helps them appear otherwise calm and relaxed!
Once you feel that you are projecting a calm, relaxed and confident aura, then it's time to think about how to deliver your words as effectively as possible.
You have to project your voice. Some people get nervous and mumble while giving public speeches.
Improving your speech delivery is all about getting your message across, so make sure that everyone can hear you. If you have a microphone available, by all means use it. If not, simply concentrate on the person at the back of the room and imagine that you are speaking to them directly. This will ensure you pitch your voice at just the right level.
Try to avoid speaking in a monotone fashion. In an effort to be clear and concise, people often become monotone... and that equals bored listeners!
While you don't want to go overboard and have too much emotion in your voice, you should be animated enough to let your listeners know that you are a human speaker and not an animatronic robot.
Nothing causes listeners to drift off faster than a monotone speaker, so avoid this habit at all costs.
A final tip for delivering your speech is to avoid the nervous little words, like "um", "ah", and "mmm". Many people don't realize it, but they use these little space fillers constantly in their every day speaking.
Don't let them creep into YOUR public speaking. Nothing indicates a speaker who is nervous or unprepared faster than these habitual, little sounds.
Record yourself giving your speech before the actual event. If you notice them popping up in your speech, take measures to cut them out when you give your speech in front of an audience.
Keep these tips in mind and practice the art of good speech delivery prior to your speaking engagement, to give a talk that will wow your audience.