At some point or another, most of us find ourselves needing to speak in front of a crowd. Some of us delight in public speaking while others view it as an anxiety-inducing event. Some of us only need to do it a few times for presentations while others pursue public speaking as a career.
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Whatever your case may be, if you’re going to be speaking in public, you’ll need to make sure that you do the best job possible.
Let’s take a look at some of the best public speaking tips and tricks to help set you up for a successful presentation.
The most important steps to a successful speech come before you even give the speech itself.
Preparation is the key to doing just about anything well and public speaking is no exception. Begin by doing the research necessary to have all of the information that you want to give your audience. You should know what you’re talking about before you even dream of creating a speech.
First and foremost, you need to make sure to start by knowing how to write a speech outline.
From there, you can go ahead and flesh it out and make a more comprehensive speech that covers everything you need to cover. It is important to get the bare bones all laid out first before you work out some of the details so that you know you have the important information there.
Once you have your speech written out, it’s imperative that you speak it into existence. There are several small grammatical or syntax errors that may not be identifiable on paper that become glaringly obvious only when you say them out loud.
This is also a great time to practice in front of a mirror. If you already know how to write a persuasive speech, see if your movements or gesture, and tone match up with the persuasive speech or motivational message that you want to convey to your audience at your public speaking event. You can also opt to create cue cards to help you focus on driving the key point of your talk.
You should also take the time to memorize a good portion of your speech. Leave room for some improvisation, but get the basic structure down so that you aren’t left floundering or searching through your notes while you’re on stage. This is also a great avenue for you to brush up or improve your good public speaking skills.
The biggest selling point that you have for your public speaking career is yourself. You should make this the center of all of your speeches.
Think about it from the viewpoint of an audience member. When you have gone to conventions with public speakers in the past, did you go to see someone regurgitate a script like a robot? Or did you feel most drawn in by a speaker that you could see as a person, someone you would maybe even like to befriend? Probably the latter, right?
Given that you already know how to start a presentation, before you step on the stage and begin your presentation you have to be sure that your mind and body are prepared for the task.
Take a few deep breaths. Go through some vocal warm-ups. Check out the space and try a few key lines of your speech to see how much you need to project your voice to fill the auditorium or room you will be speaking in. You should also try doing some stretches with your body so that you can move freely and comfortably when delivering your speech.
The last thing you want when you begin performing your speech is to experience an embarrassing voice crack in the middle of an anecdote. Avoid this by taking the time to warm up before you take the stage or podium.
Many of us fear silence during everyday conversation. It seems uncomfortable, even awkward, and it’s natural human instinct to fill the silence by saying something just to speak.
But if you’re a public speaker, one of the public speaking skills you have to master is to be comfortable with sitting in these silences. Taking a pause during a speech can highlight the importance of what you just said and give your audience time to let it soak in and process it. It also gives you some time to take a breath and connect with your audience without speaking.
When you’re memorizing your speech, always begin by memorizing the beginning and ending lines of your speech.
That opening line is what introduces your audience to both you and what you will be speaking about. It needs to be welcoming, warm, and verify your legitimacy as a professional with the qualifications needed to speak about what you will be speaking about. You should state what you want people to come away from this presentation with and give a rundown of how you plan on accomplishing that.
As for how to end a speech, leave the audience with something that they can carry with them for the remainder of their day and ideally the days following. This will be what they take away from the entirety of your presentation, so make it easy to digest and impactful.
Probably the hardest tip of all, you have to try and relax. When you’re stressed, your body and voice will show it. Though public speaking causes at least a little anxiety or fear in all of us, you should do your best to keep that in check so that your audience sees you as the professional that you are.
These public speaking anxiety tips should be a great first step to feeling so prepared that you have nothing to worry about when you do go up there to give your presentation. Just take a deep breath and trust yourself and your instincts.
If you’re pursuing public speaking as a career, you’ll need some help navigating the business side of this unique career path. Malibu Mastermind has you covered with all of your business consulting needs to help you be the best public speaker that you can be.
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