If you can, look over the room and environment where you will be making a speech. Check how big it is, how good the acoustics are and get comfortable in the front of the room. The more familiar you are with room, the more at ease you will be when you have to make your speech.
Learn as much as possible about your audience. Tailoring your delivery and tone ensures that you make your point clearly. Failure to use an appropriate delivery style will likely cause your audience to lose interest and retain key information. For example, you might consider differences in your audience members' age, income level, and knowledge of the subject matter.
Be sure to make good eye contact with your audience. If you are really prepared and know your speech well, this should be easy. Look around the room in a relaxed way. Make eye contact and connect with individuals here and there throughout the audience. In this way, people will feel that you are really addressing them.
Prior to delivering a speech, know your audience. Each audience will expect something different from you. For instance, professional colleagues might want to personally learn something new. Your friends and loved ones are probably just hoping to be entertained. Regardless of the composition of the audience, be sure to provide them with what they expect.
Include examples and stories into your speech as illustrations. This will make your audience more interested in the information you are presenting. By including information about your family through stories and illustrations, the audience will see you as a person instead of another guest speaker. Limit the stories to one or two for best results.
Know what your strengths are. Frame your speech around your strengths. For example, if you can tell a great story, tell one that your audience will enjoy. Find a way to incorporate the story into your speech in such a way that it flows seamlessly into the presentation of the facts you need to get across.
Ask your friends to help you prepare for public speaking. Get four or five of them together, and present your speech as you would in front of the larger group you are preparing for. It's essential to get used to having other people in the room while you speak.