Even if you don’t need to make regular presentations in front of a group, there are plenty of situations where good public speaking skills can help you advance your career and create opportunities. These public speaking tips will help you become a better public speaker.
For example, you might have to talk about your organization at a conference, make a speech after accepting an award, or teach a class to recruits. Speaking to an audience also includes online presentations or talks. This is public speaking and public speaking tips are important in such scenarios.
For instance, when training a virtual team, or when speaking to a group of customers is important in other areas of your life, as well.
You might be asked to make a speech at a friend’s wedding, give a eulogy for a loved one, or inspire a group of various volunteers at a charity event. In short, being a good public speaker can enhance your reputation, countless opportunities. However, while good skills can open doors, poor ones can close them.
For example, your boss might decide against promoting you after sitting through a badly delivered presentation.
You might lose a valuable new contract by failing to connect with a prospect during a sales pitch or you could make a poor impression with your new team because you trip over your words and don’t look at people in the eye. Make sure you learn how to speak well.
Public speaking tips
Here are essential public speaking tips that you can make use of.
1. PLAN APPROPRIATELY
This is the most important among all public speaking tips. First, make sure that you plan your communication appropriately. Then think about how you’ll structure what you’re going to say. When you do this, think about how important a book’s first paragraph is. If it doesn’t grab you, you’re likely going to put it down.
The same principle goes for your speech; from the beginning, you need to intrigue your audience. For example, you could start with an interesting statistic, heading or fact that pertains to what you’re talking about and resonates with your audience.
For effective public speaking, you can also use storytelling as a powerful opener. Planning also helps you to think on your feet. This is especially important for unpredictable question and answer sessions or last-minute communications.
Remember that not all occasions when you need to speak in public will be scheduled. You can make good impromptu speeches by having ideas and mini-speeches prepared.
It also helps to have a good, thorough understanding of what’s going on in your organization and industry.
There’s a good reason that we say, “practice makes progress,” you simply cannot be a confident, compelling speaker without practice.
To practice, seek opportunities to speak in front of others. If you’re going to be delivering a presentation or prepared speech, create it as early as possible. The earlier you put it together, the more time you’ll have to practice.
Practice it plenty of time alone, using the resource you’ll rely on at the event, and as you practice, freak your words until they flow smoothly and easily. Then it, appropriate, do a dummy then in front of a small audience.
This will help you calm your jitters and make you feel more comfortable with the material. Your audience can also give you useful feedback, both on your material and on your performance.
3. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
When you are doing public speaking, try to engage your audience. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved with your message. If appropriate, ask leading questions targeted to individuals or groups and encourage people to participate and ask questions.
Keep in mind that some words reduce your power as a speaker. For instance, think about how these sentences sound. “I just want to add that I think we can meet these goals.” Or I just think this plan is a good one.
The words “just” and “think” limit your authority and conviction. Don’t use them. A similar word is actually as in, “actually, I’d like to add that we were under budget last quarter.” When you use” actually” it conveys a sense of sub massiveness or even surprises. Instead, say which things are “we were under budget last quarter is clear and direct.
Also, pay attention to how you’re speaking. If you’re nervous, you might talk quickly. This increases the chances that you will trip over your words, or say something you don’t mean.
Force yourself to slow down by breathing deeply. Don’t be afraid to gather your thoughts, pauses are an important part of the organization and they make you sound confident, natural and authentic.
Finally, avoid reading word for word from your notes. Instead, make a loss of important points on cue cards or as you get better at public speaking, try to memorize what you’re going to say you can still refer back to your cue cards when you need them.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO BODY LANGUAGE
If you’re unaware of it, your body language will give your audience constant, subtle clauses about your inner state. If you’re nervous or if you don’t believe in what you’re saying, the audience can soon know.
Pay attention to your body language; stand up straight, take deep breaths, look people in the eye, and smile. Don’t lean on one leg or use gestures that feel unnatural.
Many people prefer to speak behind a podium when giving presentations while podiums can be useful for holding notes, they put a barrier between you and the audience. They can also become a “crutch,” giving you a hiding place from the dozens or hundreds of eyes that are on you.
Instead of standing behind a podium, walk around and use gestures to engage the audience. This movement and energy will also come through your voice, making it more active and passionate.
5. THINK POSITIVELY
Positive thinking can make a huge difference in the success of your public speaking because it helps you feel more confident. Fear makes it all too easy to stop into a cycle of negative self-talk, especially right before you speak.
While self-sabotaging thoughts such as “I’ll never be good at this l” or “I’m going to fall flat on my face!” lower your confidence and increase the chances that you won’t achieve what you’re truly capable of. Use affirmations and visualization to raise your confidence.
This is especially important right before your speech or presentation. Visualize giving a successful presentation and imagine how you’ll feel once it’s over and when you have made a positive difference for others. Use positive affirmations such as “I’m grateful I have the opportunity to help my audience.” Or I am going to do well.
6. COPE WITH NERVES
How often have you listened to or watched a speaker who really messed up? Chances are, the answer is “not very often.” When we have to speak in front of others, we can envision terrible things happening.
We imagine forgetting every point we want to make, passing out from our nervousness or doing so humbly that we’ll lose our job. But those things rarely come to pass!
We build them up in our minds and end up more nervous than we need to be many people cite speaking to an audience as their biggest fear and a fear of failure is often at the roots of this.
Public speaking can lead your “fight or flight.” Response to kick in: adrenaline courses through your bloodstream, your heart rate increases, you sweat and your breath becomes fast and shallow.
Although these symptoms can be annoying or even debilitating, the inverted for model shows that a certain amount of pressure enhances performance. By changing your mindset, you can use nervous energy to your advantage.
First, make an effort to stop thinking about yourself, your nervousness and your fear.
Instead, focus on your audience what you’re saying is” about them”. Remember that you’re trying to help or educate them in some way and your message is more important than your fear. Concentrate on the audience’s wants and needs, instead of your own.
If time allows, use deep breathing exercises to slow your heart rate and give your body the oxygen it needs to perform. This is especially important right before you speak. Take deep breaths from your belly, hold each one for several seconds and let it out slowly.
Crowds are more intimidating than individuals, so think of your speech as a conversation that you’re having with one person. Although your audience maybe 100 people, focus on one friendly face at a time and talk to that person as if he or she is the only one in the room.
7. WATCH RECORDINGS OF YOUR SPEECHES
Whenever possible, record your presentations and speeches. You can improve your speaking skills dramatically by watching yourself later and then working on improving in areas that did not go well. As you watch, notice any verbal stalls, such as “um” or “like.”
Look at your body language: are you swaying, leaning on the podium or leaning heavily on one leg? Are you looking at the audience? Did you smile? Pay attention to your gestures that people can see them, especially if you’re standing behind a podium. Lost, look at how you handle interruptions, such as a sneeze or a question that you weren’t prepared for.
Does your face show surprise, hesitation or annoyance? If so, practice managing interruptions like these smoothly, so that you’re even better next time.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER DURING PUBLIC SPEAKING
Chances are that you’ll sometimes have to speak in public as part of your role while this can seem intimidating the benefits of being able to speak well outweigh any perceived fears. To become a better speaker, use the following strategies;
Engage with your audience
Pay attention to body language
Cope with your nerves
Watch recordings of your speeches
If you speak well in public, it can help you get a job or promotion, raise awareness for your team or organization and educate others. The more you push yourself to speak in front of others the better you’ll become and the more confidence you’ll have.
Bonus public speaking tips
NERVOUSNESS IS NORMAL, PRACTICE AND PREPARE
All people feel some physiological reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands.
Do not associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself. Some nerves are good.
The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance. The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare, prepare and prepare some more. Take the time to go over your notes several times.
Once you have become comfortable with the material, practice a lot. Videotape yourself or get a friend to critique your performance.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, YOUR SPEECH IS ABOUT THEM
Before you begin to craft your message, it is advised to learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words level of information, organization pattern and motivational statement.
WATCH FOR FEEDBACK AND ADAPT TO IT
Keep the focus on the audience gauge their reactions, adjust your message and stay flexible. Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners.
DELIVERING GREAT PRESENTATIONS
Ever been to a really bad presentation? You know, the kind where the speaker stands behind the podium uses slides that mirror what he is saying directly and includes lots of data tables to validate his position.
But” what’s so bad about that?” you ask. Isn’t that how most presentations are given/delivered? Yet that is how most presentations are delivered, but that doesn’t mean that’s the most effective way to deliver them. This kind of presentation risks boring your audience to the point where they start wishing for a fire alarm to go off.
So they can escape and once you lose someone, it is next to impossible to bring his or her attention back. If the information you are presenting is important enough for you to deliver orally, then if demands an appropriate amount of planning and preparation so that the information you present is memorable.
For the right reasons, give a bad presentation and you’ll be remembered all night. It just won’t be the type of impression you want to leave in anyone’s mind. When someone presents well, it sends the message that the person is capable, confident, intelligent and competent.
These people get noticed and that type of attention bodies well for your career. Even if you don’t make formal presentations in your current position, think about the future and keep in mind that you do have to present your ideas and opinions daily.
CREATING EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION VISUALS
Jobs was particularly well known for building his presentations around powerful visual AIDS. He knew that slides are most effective when they tell a story rather than convey information.
So his visuals were simple, elegant and image-based. They complemented and re-inforced his message, and they never competed with him for his audience’s attention.
You don’t have to be Steve Jobs to give a great presentation, but you do need great visuals. They convey a powerful message about your ideas and your brand, so it’s essential to get them right.
In this article, we look at how you can create effective presentation visuals slides that connect your audience with your message and also follow me on twitter @ coachgumoshabe1 for more of these.
ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR ANCHORS AND JOURNALISTS
- An understanding of issues, names, geography, history, and the ability to put all these in perspective for viewers. It comes from the journalist’s commitment to being a student of the news.
- Ability to process new information. Sorting, organizing, prioritizing, and retaining massive amounts of incoming data.
- Ethical compass. Sensitivity to ethical land mines that often litter the field of live breaking news- unconfirmed information, graphic video, words that potentially panic, endanger public safety or security or words that add pain to already traumatized victims and those who care about them.
- Command of the language – Dead-on grammar, syntax, pronunciation, tone, and storytelling, no matter how stressed or tried the anchor or reporter may be.
- Interviewing finesse. An instinct for what people need and want to know for what elements are missing from the story, and the ability to draw information by skillful, informed questioning and by listening.
- Mastery of multi-tasking. The ability to simultaneously; take in a producer’s instructions via an earpiece while scanning new information from computer messages texts or twitter, listen to what other reporters on the team are sharing and interviewees are adding monitor incoming video and yes, live-tweet into people who have come to expect information in multiple formats.
- Appreciation of all roles. An understanding of the tasks and technology that go into the execution of a broadcast, the ability to roll with changes and glitches, and anticipate all other professionals involved.
- An acute sense of timing. The ability to condense or expand one’s speech on demand, to sense when a story needs refreshing or recapping, to know without even looking at a clock how many words are needed to fill the minute while awaiting a satellite window, live feed or interviewee.
Final thoughts on public speaking tips
You can become a better public speaker by following the above public speaking tips. Very many people have used them and became effective at delivering their messages across. This is critical to success.
About the writer
Above is just to mention but a few Tips, Tricks, theories, principles, and practices of public speaking. You can follow me on my social media platforms @coachgumoshabe1 and @inspiredleadersugand.or inbox me on +256 701 893735 for training and service booking.
MASTER THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING BY COACH GUMOSHABE INNOCENT.
CEO INSPIRED LEADERS UGANDA, KEYNOTE PUBLIC SPEAKER, SPEECH COACH, THOUGHT LEADER, MOTIVATIONAL & INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER
+256 701 893735
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