Have u ever had to make a speech in front of a large audience?

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    Apr 09, 2012 3:47 PM GMT
    This coming Saturday, I have to make a speech in front of 335 people at my school .. I'm nerrrvous as hell over it, I basically have to welcome the audience, talk about myself, the school, etc.... Then I have to be on a student panel and answer questions from the audience....

    I have 15 minutes for welcome/introductions, etc....starting right at 9am. Dont know what I'm gonna say yet, I'm sure I'll figure it out, but what are some ways that I cannot make myself so nervous? lol It's only monday and I got butterflys in my stomach over it. .... cannnt wait til it's over tbh icon_lol.gif
  • bischero

    Posts: 847

    Apr 09, 2012 4:01 PM GMT
    The butterflies will never go away, but you have to learn how to transform those butterflies into energy. Take all those fears, knots in your stomach, and worries and use them as fuel to your speaking fire.

    Speaking/performing/lecturing in front of large groups of people takes time to get "used to," only getting better with more speeches/performances/lectures (as is with anything else).

    Try to draw your energy from your audience and the most important thing that I can tell you is to believe in yourself. When you are getting ready to walk up on the stage tell yourself that these people are here to hear you. You are the one speaking; they're listening.

    Before I give a presentation or a lecture, I say a prayer for comfort and confidence, and then I tell myself, "Okay, you're the professor now. These kids are here to learn from you. You know everything about your subject and you are going to deliver to them sons of bitches."

    Good luck!

    icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:12 PM GMT
    bischero saidThe butterflies will never go away, but you have to learn how to transform those butterflies into energy. Take all those fears, knots in your stomach, and worries and use them as fuel to your speaking fire.

    Speaking/performing/lecturing in front of large groups of people takes time to get "used to," only getting better with more speeches/performances/lectures (as is with anything else).

    Try to draw your energy from your audience and the most important thing that I can tell you is to believe in yourself. When you are getting ready to walk up on the stage tell yourself that these people are here to hear you. You are the one speaking; they're listening.

    Before I give a presentation or a lecture, I say a prayer for comfort and confidence, and then I tell myself, "Okay, you're the professor now. These kids are here to learn from you. You know everything about your subject and you are going to deliver to them sons of bitches."

    Good luck!

    icon_smile.gif


    +1

    Also, remember to TAKE YOUR TIME. Sometimes, and I use to be guilty of this, there is a tendency to rush through the speech. DON'T! Your audience will miss what you intended them to hear. And breathe! Good Luck!
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    klassik saidThis coming Saturday, I have to make a speech in front of 335 people at my school .. I'm nerrrvous as hell over it, I basically have to welcome the audience, talk about myself, the school, etc.... Then I have to be on a student panel and answer questions from the audience....

    I have 15 minutes for welcome/introductions, etc....starting right at 9am. Dont know what I'm gonna say yet, I'm sure I'll figure it out, but what are some ways that I cannot make myself so nervous? lol It's only monday and I got butterflys in my stomach over it. .... cannnt wait til it's over tbh icon_lol.gif


    Have u ever had to make a speech in front of a large audience?

    You just did.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:18 PM GMT
    Not in years. But I'm glad I have the confidence to do it if I ever had to. Got to love a country where you have the Freedom To Express ANY OPINION you may have; if others agree with it or not. I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone, and noone should try to take that away from me. Lest we become a nation sitting in silence at the Death of an Inalienable Right.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:19 PM GMT
    My trick is to visualize a great speaker, and imagine that I can be like that person. Watch speeches on youtube from a favorite president or public figure, or somebody you admire for their speaking skills. You can even adopt their body language during the speech. Just make sure it doesn't come off like a SNL impression...lol...add your own flair too.

    As for a topic...say something you're passionate about, something you like and what connects you with the audience. Maybe tell a story about yourself and the school.....an experience you had that tells what a great place it is. Be honest. Be yourself. Speak from the heart. Audiences love a speaker who is candid.

    Everybody gets a little nervous about public speaking. You have an advantage that you're young, and people will expect that you'll be a bit nervous. Use that to your advantage.....a great opportunity to knock it out of the park.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:21 PM GMT
    I find that the more prepared I am, and the more speeches I give, the less nervous I get. Figure out what you want to say well in advance and practice it. For the panel discussion, figure out what you're most likely to be asked and have prepared answers.

    Good luck!
  • bischero

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    Apr 09, 2012 4:23 PM GMT
    ErikTaureanAlso, remember to TAKE YOUR TIME. Sometimes, and I use to be guilty of this, there is a tendency to rush through the speech. DON'T! Your audience will miss what you intended them to hear. And breathe! Good Luck!


    Yes, do these things as well. icon_cool.gif
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:28 PM GMT
    I used to have major public speaking fear. Now it's just aggravating. Because of my job, I have to speak in front of people every so often.

    Everyone is different but here is what helps me.

    1) I've learned that if you focus on what you're going to say for the first 2 minutes and get that down, the rest falls into place. Once you get started on your presentation, you're anxiety subsides.

    2) Don't think "nervousness", think "energy". Your nerves are just an adrenaline response, not a sign of weakness. It's an energy jolt from your body saying, "All systems are a go". Use that energy.

    3) If you can, vary your position in the room by moving around. Podiums are the worst and lock you in a defensive position behind a barrier psychologically. Walk the floor or aisle if you can. It will help you release some of the nervous energy by walking and will help you focus on the subject.

    4) If you're going to talk about yourself, try to see if you can put up embarrassing baby pictures. Nothing endears an audience to you like blackmail photos and when you hear people laugh, it really relaxes you. If you don't want to go the baby picture route, find something else to make them laugh at. Depending on your topic, maybe you can find funny cartoons or examples to highlight what you're addressing. Jokes are your friend. Just be careful not to make jokes at other's expense. Those backfire.

    5) HAVE A CONVERSATION with the audience. Don't give a speech. Ask "how many of you have ever...?" questions and ask people to stand. Or tell people that you might call on them to participate if they fall asleep during your presentaion. Make your topic about "them" so that they can connect.

    Good luck man.
  • GWriter

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    Apr 09, 2012 4:28 PM GMT
    runnerjc saidI find that the more prepared I am, and the more speeches I give, the less nervous I get. Figure out what you want to say well in advance and practice it. For the panel discussion, figure out what you're most likely to be asked and have prepared answers.

    Good luck!

    This! Don't wing it. If you know exactly what you are going to say, you'll have a lot less to feel nervous about.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:29 PM GMT
    Odd coincidence, I just wrote about this same topic in another thread here a few hours ago. One of my college degrees is in Speech, I've appeared on TV and been a radio DJ, I taught HS & college, and my Army Officer's career required me to speak authoritatively before large assemblies of soldiers all the time.

    Every person is different, so what works for one may not work for another. But here's what helps me:

    If the lighting permits, I look right into the eyes of my audience. For me, it makes it more like a private conversation, and I forget that there may be over 1000 others present. I'm at my worst when strong stage lighting blinds me, so that all I can see is a black wall in front of me, and little or nothing of the audience, making me effectively blindfolded. If their eyes still spook you, focus on their hair. At a distance it will still seem to them that you're looking into their eyes.

    To accomplish this eye contact I rehearse my copy, so I know it virtually by heart. I NEVER keep my head down, reading before a live group or TV camera. That annoys & insults your audience, and prevents you from making that eye contact. You SPEAK to them, like you do with friends. Your copy is just for a glancing reference, not to read from word-for-word. You will have more receptive & appreciative listeners if they see you looking right at them.

    I also make sure my copy is in a very big font, easy to create with computers. If the copy was given to me from some other source I'll retype the whole thing, adding new double-spaced paragraph breaks that help my delivery. I also increase the regular line spacing to 1.5. Remember, on a podium your copy will be at about arm's length, not like holding up a book or magazine, and so you should practice this way.

    I hand annotate my copy in red for emphasis, to remind me what words I want to stress, where to pause, where to raise my voice, etc. There are standard guides for this marking, but just make up your own. When retyping I also will use my own phonetic spelling of awkward or unusual words, and all numbers are also spelled out, for instance 9 = nine. And I use no abbreviations, other than contractions, so that something like "Mr." is written out fully as "Mister". Most people find it easier to read aloud that way, with fewer stumbles.

    My pages are all numbered top and bottom, TV & radio script style for easy glancing. This is simple if you use your word processor's Header & Footer features. The top and bottom of your pages should look like this:

    1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1...1

    2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2...2 and so forth for each page

    Speak at a slower pace than conversational, especially if you aren't being amplified and have to raise your voice. People can't process audible information well when it's booming around a large space, it all runs together to their ears, so add pauses between words.

    Depending on circumstances, I also like to walk around on the stage or the floor, even go out among the audience if I can. I HATE staying glued behind a podium. If I need it I'll carry my script pages with me, or have it on large index cards. Beware of assuming a white-knuckle grip on the sides of the podium, a give-away to the audience that you are scared shitless.

    Smile as much as the material allows, and insert apparently impromptu, off-the-cuff remarks, comic when appropriate, even if you have preplanned them. It will relax you, and tell the audience you're at ease & confident.

    If you decide a formal script is not appropriate, and you'd rather speak extemporaneously, then at least make bullet notes on index cards of the points you want to make. This will keep your presentation in a logical order, and avoid the dreaded: "Oh, I forgot to mention..." as you're leaving the podium or the audience is exiting.

    Please contact me directly with any additional questions.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:30 PM GMT
    klassik saidThis coming Saturday, I have to make a speech in front of 335 people at my school .. I'm nerrrvous as hell over it, I basically have to welcome the audience, talk about myself, the school, etc.... Then I have to be on a student panel and answer questions from the audience....

    I have 15 minutes for welcome/introductions, etc....starting right at 9am. Dont know what I'm gonna say yet, I'm sure I'll figure it out, but what are some ways that I cannot make myself so nervous? lol It's only monday and I got butterflys in my stomach over it. .... cannnt wait til it's over tbh icon_lol.gif


    Look I've done a lot of public speaking and it sounds like you're on the verge of being nervous about being nervous! So first things first, take a deep breath and CUT THAT SHIT OUT! You're not addressing God! The people you're talking to all urinate, defecate, and sleep, JUST LIKE YOU. The old joke is imagine everyone in the room in their underpants. DON'T DO THAT! I tried it once and there was a hot blond in the second row who I imagined in white briefs. An erection will NOT help your speech!

    Once you've gotten over your anxiety about being anxious, take the next step. Think of the important points you want to make. Then put these in outline form on an index card. If you lose track of your thought process in the middle of your speech, just look at the card and talk about the next point you wanted to make.

    Best of luck!!!
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:31 PM GMT
    I never had an experience delivering a speech to a large crowd but I had the opportunity to give a lecture among professional nurses of about 500 attendees.

    The key to success in public speaking is MASTERY. Master your piece/topic which entails a lot of preparation. The moment you are in front of this large audience think of it as a privilege wherein not everyone has this chance of a lifetime.

    Good luck! OWN THE STAGE.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:31 PM GMT
    Two pieces of advice for public speaking that I'd go with...

    1) Do not READ to your audience. Speak TO them :-D.

    2) Keep their attention. Maybe a joke or something that they can relate to. Nothing TOO over the top, but try to draw them in.

    3) Don't let them know that you're nervous~ Be Confident! icon_twisted.gif
  • shred_thegnar

    Posts: 157

    Apr 09, 2012 4:40 PM GMT
    for sure, had to make one as a summer intern to well over 125 senior executives, directors, other summer interns, and a couple media partners during my internship at a bank to promote a major sponsorship campaign (CIBC Run for the Cure) targeted at university students.

    Before the presentation I was basically shitting my pants, as these could be my future employer, though thankfully my team was there for support. Just go in with the idea of making it fun, not professional, crack jokes and take deep breaths if you have to pause than pause, if you make a mistake than keep going and don't dwell on it. Eat before hand. Keep a set of notes just in case but don't rely on them.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:50 PM GMT
    maybe I should just take 2 shots of tequila before going on stage lmao.

    nah but thanks for the tips guys. I have the worrrrst nerves ahhh. I will most definitely be writing it out and will have a copy of it with me. when im nervous I tend to laugh a lot...even if it's not funny. I just start laughing. I've done speeches before in front of like 20 or 30 people before, but never over 300 ppl. and never with a mic either. hope my voice doesn't sound weird. I have an accent to americans lol

    I figure I have 15 minutues to do what I need to do, which could either fly by....or drag on for what seems like ever. . hopefully it will be flying by. Once the initial speech is done, I figure the panel will be no sweat... the focus is not completely on me anymore, but me and 5 other students on the panel.

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    Apr 09, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    20 is no different than 300. Preparation is the key, practice your speech over and over then when you have it down practice it again. Dont use something prewritten, just bullet points. Realize your speech will be slightly different each time you do it, don't get caught up in trying to make it perfect. Finally be comfortable with pauses and moments of silence while you think of what comes next, don't fill it with um's and uh's. Good luck.

    oh and pick a 3-4 people out in the audience and speak to them while giving your speech, this will make the crowd not seem so big. every so often when switching between your 3-4 people look all the way to the back of the crowd just to make it look like you are addressing everybody. also keep your hands up in front of you, keep them out of your pockets, let the nervous energy come out through your hands by talking with them. thats the one part of your body you can move a lot without looking odd. also helps hide the nervous shakes. cant tell you are shaking if you move them around.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:57 PM GMT
    no need to stress, it's not that bad. just go in there calm and you'll be fine.

    i have to give presentations to halls full of students trying to convince them to join the company.

    just be prepared for certain questions that may come up.
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:59 PM GMT
    Yeah ...To echo the rest of the people who responded, you should always try to speak slowly. I do Mock Trials and so public speaking is a no-brainer for me, and I rarely get nervous for any type of presentation now - but the trick I had to learn was to talk much slower than normal. You should always be checking yourself, internally, as to your speed of talking.

    I also always have a focal point to get me back on track if I'm nervous...When I have a boyfriend, I focus on him to keep me focus, and when I don't ...I use mi madddree icon_razz.gif
  • aquariumkid

    Posts: 93

    Apr 09, 2012 5:43 PM GMT
    it is not what you say, but always how you say it!

    i had a close friend who ran for our university's lgbt groups member at large position. she had amazing ideas but she ultimately failed to gain any audience appeal. she used phrases like "we can work with these other lgbt groups ...i guess" and she also made little or no eye contact with the audience... eye contact is vital in public speaking!

    i guess my point is when you speak publicly remember to things!
    1. speak with conviction and a sense of confidence for everything you say! basically you have to take control! be energetic and enthusiastic! capture their attention! in the first ten seconds!
    2. involve the audience! eye contact, general questions to find common ground, hand gestures, and corny jokes! cause a lauging environment is a buying environment, and what you are doing is essentially selling yourself to a group of random strangers! read my profile! i joke about my sexuality, about my lack of singing skills, anything that will get people to smile! (and all of its true too)icon_wink.gif

    take a few deep breaths before you go on stage too! it helps

    In the famous words of Rupaul "Good luck!... and dont f*** it up!" icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 09, 2012 5:56 PM GMT
    aquariumkid saidit is not what you say, but always how you say it!

    i had a close friend who ran for our university's lgbt groups member at large position. she had amazing ideas but she ultimately failed to gain any audience appeal. she used phrases like "we can work with these other lgbt groups ...i guess" and she also made little or no eye contact with the audience... eye contact is vital in public speaking!

    i guess my point is when you speak publicly remember to things!
    1. speak with conviction and a sense of confidence for everything you say! basically you have to take control! be energetic and enthusiastic! capture their attention! in the first ten seconds!
    2. involve the audience! eye contact, general questions to find common ground, hand gestures, and corny jokes! cause a lauging environment is a buying environment, and what you are doing is essentially selling yourself to a group of random strangers! read my profile! i joke about my sexuality, about my lack of singing skills, anything that will get people to smile! (and all of its true too)icon_wink.gif

    take a few deep breaths before you go on stage too! it helps

    In the famous words of Rupaul "Good luck!... and dont f*** it up!" icon_wink.gif


    lmao, thanks bro!!
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    Apr 09, 2012 7:21 PM GMT
    breathe through your nose and speak from your gut
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    Apr 09, 2012 7:29 PM GMT
    yeah man, good point...only prob for me is I have an accent...
    self-conscious about it...hope they caaaaan understand me,

    "wattagwan, mi can help yuh wid someting?" lmao!!

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    Apr 09, 2012 7:42 PM GMT
    Cakelion said20 is no different than 300.


    This. Also in some occasions the more people the less nervous I've been because I just see them as this amorphous blob of people, as opposed to when it's fewer I'll individually recognize each face.

    I got over my fear of public speaking because I was a music major in college and had to perform in public. Believe me, when you have to play a mathematically exact Bach prelude and fucking fugue ON A HARPSICHORD (whose keys activate if you breathe on them wrong) giving public speeches becomes the dumbest easiest and most innocuous thing.
  • chi_rock

    Posts: 207

    Apr 09, 2012 8:31 PM GMT
    Yes, I have given speeches to large audiences several times. My advise is practice the key elements of what you want to say, and let the rest flow from that. You will be nervous at first, then likely relax over time.