Public speaking evokes the most controversial feelings in any person. First, you are scared and anxious, then you become more challenged, and afterwards you just feel privileged. When delivering a public speech, you have a large group of people listening attentively to you and being open to hear everything you say. So, how to strike the public?
- Tell some great stories. Most importantly, these stories should be interesting and appealing to the public. Focus on the main message of the story or what you personally have learned from it. There should always be a point or morale in what you are narrating. If you have chosen to tell some story, it should be for a reason.
- NEVER read your presentation from your notes, laptop, etc. Yes, speaking in front of the audience may make you nervous and it might be really challenging for you to maintain eye contact with your listeners. However, you should be “in the process of speaking” – not reading. If you are using some slides, remember that their main aim is to make it easier for the audience to perceive the information but not for you to read from them.
- Film a video to enhance your feeling of comfort while speaking. Film a video of your speech and then show it to some of your friends or family members and wait for a constructive feedback. Besides, even if you watch it on your own, you will be able to see your strengths and weaknesses.
- Deliver Your own speech. By this I mean, do not cite others’ opinions too much and do not make your speech look like a compilation of citations. Provide your own perspective on the issue.
- Use Kawasaki’s “10 20 30 Rule” of Power Point presentations: 10 minutes, 20 slides, 30 font.
- Be energetic and interactive. Although you are the speaker, do not forget about the audience: interact with them, joke, ask questions.
- Jokes are not an obligatory part of a speech. Do not act like someone you are not. If you don’t like joking, then don’t do it on stage. Do not pretend to be a comedian. Maybe you have some other ways to get attention of the audience.
- Do not turn your speech into a Q & A format. If you expect the audience to interact with you straightaway and raise hands as soon as you ask a question, then you are greatly mistaken. Personally you, how often are you brave enough to raise your hand and start answering in front of unknown people?
- However, feel free to ask questions and communicate with your audience after the speech. If you want to know others’ opinions on your topic, ask some questions off stage. This will be more individual format of communication.
- Just be yourself. The more you pretend to be who you are not, the more people notice it. Therefore, be confident and try to make your presentation interesting and flow in a natural way.
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