While listening to a Public Speaker, do you often think that “how great it would be if I can have the courage to address an audience. But this is something that I would never be able to do”
Well, you need to know this : Even a public speaker who enthralls the audience by his speech is not as fearless as he seems. He fears public speaking as you do but there is one difference : he fights his fear and you don’t.
Here are 10 tips for Improved Public Speaking:
1. Understand that 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.
2. Know Your Audience; Your Speech Is About Them, Not You.
Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. 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.
3. Organize Your Material Most Effectively to Attain Your Purpose.
Create the framework for your speech. Write down the topic, general-purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.
4. 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.
5. Let Your Personality Come Through.
Be yourself, don’t become a talking head—in any type of communication. You will establish better credibility if your personality shines through, and your audience will trust what you have to say if they can see you as a real person.
6. Use Humour, Tell Stories, and Use Effective Language.
Inject a funny anecdote in your presentation, and you will certainly grab your audience’s attention. Audiences generally like a personal touch in a speech. A story can provide that.
7. Don’t Read Unless You Have to; Work from an Outline.
Reading from a script or slide fractures the interpersonal connection. By maintaining eye contact with the audience, you keep the focus on yourself and your message. A brief outline can serve to jog your memory and keep you on task.
8. Use Your Voice and Hands Effectively; Omit Nervous Gestures.
Nonverbal communication carries most of the message. Good delivery does not call attention to itself but instead conveys the speaker’s ideas and without distraction.
9. Grab Attention at the Beginning, and Close with a Dynamic End.
Do you enjoy hearing a speech start with “Today I’m going to talk to you about X”? Most people don’t. Instead, use a startling statistic, an interesting anecdote, or a concise quotation. Conclude your speech with a summary and a strong statement that your audience is sure to remember.
10. Use Audio-visual Aids Wisely.
Too many can break the direct connection to the audience, so use them sparingly. They should enhance or clarify your content, or capture and maintain your audience’s attention.
Adapted from Sheetal Chaudhary (2018). How can I improve my public speaking skills? Quora https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-improve-my-public-speaking-skills-4
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