8 tips essential for public speaking
Public speaking may not come naturally to a lot of people, and if you are one of those, we have some quick and easy tips to help you out. Mastering this art of communication can help you capture a big audience and convey your message effectively. Not just that, but this skill can even help you gain more confidence and articulate your own thoughts and language. Let’s take a look at some of the things to practice:
Prep and practice
Practice will most often get you where you need to be. While it is totally normal to be nervous when standing in front of several people and trying to tell a story, it is something that can go smoothly if you practice and prepare enough. You can ask your friends or family to be the audience whenever you practice public speaking at home.
Understand the audience
Another important thing to note is knowing your audience. It is very easy to lose someone’s attention if you don’t understand their needs and interests. It’s like trying to sell a beauty product to someone hungry. They will simply not interact with you! So, getting a good understanding of your target audience is critical.
Keep talking points
Now, this can be extremely helpful when you have to spend some time on the stage. Having some talking points handy can prompt you to talk about things in a structured manner without losing sight of your objective. Keep flashcards ready that will let you know what to talk about next without breaking your flow!
This brings us to compelling storytelling. Public speaking is all about effective storytelling that keeps your audience hooked and engrossed. This is where prep and practice will come in handy. You can think of different ways of communicating your thoughts with friends and family and note their response to your style of communication.
This will also mean being open to constructive criticism. Make sure you listen to your practice audience and note down things you can work on for your communication and language. Often, our implementation of speech can come off differently as planned in our head, and an objective friend/family member can help point it out.
Add a bit of your personality
Don’t forget to let your personality shine through your communication! Sure, there may be some rules to public speaking, but don’t be afraid to bend them a little to give the audience an authentic experience. This is where reading your audience comes in handy. If you understand the people, you can push the boundaries of creative communication with them.
The first tell-tale sign of anxiousness is body language. This is something that requires constant work and preparation. Another thing to know is to believe in your content. When you are convinced about your content, it is easy to stay confident and put those thoughts out for people to hear. Stand up straight, keep your feet grounded, use the podium if there is one to give you support if needed. Also, try to be facially expressive as that is sure to get people’s attention.
Delivering the speech
Sometimes the content can be great, but the delivery may lack some enthusiasm. This is something that one can work on through practice. Remember to take dramatic pauses where necessary and talk at a regular pace. Many of us have the habit of filling the gaps with awkward pauses like “umm,” “like,” and such; avoid using these fillers as it only shows anxiousness.