“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” – Dianna Booher
Here are some important public speaking tips to help you develop your skills and become far more effective as a public speaker.
- Ensure your speech will be captivating to your audience as well as worth their time and attention. Videotape your presentation and analyze it. Emphasize your strong points during your presentation.
- Present the desired image to your audience. Be solemn if your topic is serious. Appear relaxed, even if you feel nervous. Remember, you don’t look as nervous as you feel.
- Establish rapport with your audience. If a microphone is available, adjust and adapt your voice accordingly.
- Maintain sincere eye contact with your audience. If what you have prepared is obviously not getting across to your audience, change your strategy mid-stream if you are well prepared to do so.
- Allow yourself and your audience a little time to reflect and think.
- Check out the location ahead of time to ensure seating arrangements for audience, whiteboard, blackboard, lighting, location of projection screen, sound system, etc. are suitable for your presentation.
- Tell audience ahead of time that you will be giving out an outline of your presentation so that they will not waste time taking unnecessary notes during your presentation.
- Humour : Tell jokes if you’re good at telling jokes. If you aren’t good, it is best to leave the jokes behind. There’s nothing worse than a punch line that has no punch.
- Tell stories : Stories make you a real person not just a deliverer of information. Use personal experiences to bring your material to life. No matter how dry your material is, you can always find a way to humanise it. Keep audience interested throughout your entire presentation. Remember that an interesting speech makes time fly, but a boring speech is always too long to endure even if the presentation time is the same.
- Using Public Speaking Environment – Try not to get stuck in one place. Use all the space that’s available to you. If your space is confined (say a meeting room or even presenting at a table) use stronger body language to convey your message.
- Mistakes – Mistakes are all right. Recovering from mistakes makes you appear more human. Good recovery puts your audience at ease – they identify with you more.