Top Ten Tips for Effective Public Speaking
Top Ten Tips for Effective Public Speaking © Prem Nirmal
Public speaking is a skill. Like any other skill, such as swimming, it needs to be learnt and sharpened in real life environment. If you are good at it, you can influence lots of people with your speeches. Public speaking skill is a must for leaders. Just follow these top ten tips to become an effective speaker.
1) Know your audience: It’s good to know your audience rather than to talk to total strangers! You can explore the websites of inviting company or a social networking club or group, read more about them on their blogs or explore social networking sites such as Facebook and read their write-ups. It’s also good to meet few people from your audience and also the office bearers by reaching the place little early. Knowing your audience helps you to address to the need of people who ask “What is there in it for me?” and it will help you to make your speech more relevant to your audience.
2) Prepare to combat stage fear: It’s always good to do some research on the subject and understanding it well before you go in front of the audience. Also, note down your thoughts in right sequence on a small piece of paper to remind you the sequence. It helps you to be more confident. You can also keep relevant jokes / anecdotes ready on a piece of paper separately, in case you tend to forget. All good speakers feel butterflies in stomach and have little bit of nervousness while going on to dais. Take it in your stride through breath awareness and walk confidently as you are fully prepared.
3) Power point Presentations: You can prepare power point presentation and do proper sequencing to create better flow of your speech. Keep your presentations simple with only one point at a time and with better visuals. Do not clutter your slides with too many points at a time. Use appropriate visuals (maximum three per slide) to give dramatic visual effect.
4) Practice: You can practice your speech in front of video to see and correct your gestures and also the voice modulation. You can also practice in front of a small group of family members and friends and ask for their feedback to correct. Also practice with only audio recordings to understand your degree of passion, enthusiasm and power reflecting in your speech with right kind of voice modulation with punches and pause.
5) Content: Well researched contents without technical jargons are always appreciated by masses as well as by those who know the subject in-depth. If it is a technical presentation, make it more colorful and interesting with visual effects through charts etc. Proper sequencing of data is a must to make a point clear.
6) Delivery: Focusing on delivery skills is a must, as ultimately it is your delivery that is going to decide the quality of your speech in people’s mind! As you walk towards dais, walk with confidence like a lion! Body language matters!! Start your speech to get the attention and make eye contacts with everyone in audience. Use your open hand gestures to bring power to your speech. If you are using projector and PPT, see that you use laser pointer and don’t come in way of projector. Involve your audience by asking few simple questions. Deliver your speech with passion, enthusiasm and dramatization to make it more memorable.
7) Time management: Time is the most crucial element. Practice your speeches and presentations to see that you are able to complete in available time. If time available is less, you can remove few slides. If time available is more, you can always elaborate with better interaction with audience and also have some time for Q/A session at the end.
8) Humor: It’s good to add appropriate humor in your speech. Make your jokes relevant to the point you make. Share the insight from the joke and connect it to the point you want to make.
9) Story Telling: You can elaborate a point through story telling. It is a good way to elaborate if you have time. Tell small insightful stories and make them relevant to your topic through the morale of the story. Always connect the morale of the story to your point verbally to make your audience understand the point clearly.
10) Be Pro-active: Understand your audience. Prepare your presentation and speech well in advance. Add appropriate humor and be culture sensitive. Be proactive to fulfill the purpose of your speech. Be ready to talk to groups with your impromptu skills and also have few presentations ready with you that can be modified in short time to suit the requirement. Jump at every opportunity to talk in front of group. Sharpen your saw repeatedly to excel in public speaking.
Author of this article Prem Nirmal is Holistic Counselor, Corporate Trainer, Kriya Yogi, Modern Scientific Mystic and Enlightenment Educationist. www.premnirmal.guru