Best Public Speaking Tips

By Eroh K. | Strong Female Leaders

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Best Public Speaking Tips
DID YOU KNOW that public speaking is rated one of people's biggest fears? Presenting in front of an audience arouses unpleasant feelings of nervousness, anxiety and trepidation. Even if you are the most confident person and have mastered the subject that you are speaking about, knowing that your audience will judge you on your presentation skills, grammar, content, credibility and even your clothing can feel uneasy. Unfortunately, public speaking is a part of many people's professional lives; and how well you speak in front of an audience can affect your success in getting your ideas across and convincing your audience. If you want to speak well, you must practice. You will never completely rid of your fear; however, you can practice rising above it. With the tips below, you can get a head start on a useful and helpful skill.

1. Keep Your Message Simple
When you are writing a speech, it is best to make a point and to stick to it. Very often, a person may try to jam all types of information into one talk. This can make a presentation sound cluttered and difficult to understand. Keep your message simple. When you are not rushing to mention a variety of ideas within your speech, you can slow down and make sure that people are truly listening to what you are trying to get across. In most cases, you will have a limited time to convey your message. Staying with one thought and avoiding tangents will increase your confidence. Getting familiar with a key point will make you less nervous as you speak as well.
2. Smile and Maintain Eye Contact
The two best practices for public speaking are smiling and keeping eye contact during your delivery. Although scanning the room is a traditional way to give a speech, it is better to try to make eye contact with each audience member, especially in a smaller setting. This creates a connection and acts like you are having a direct conversation with the people in the crowd. It will help the audience better appreciate what you are trying to say as well. Also, it is important to smile. Smile before you speak, smile as your audience is entering the room, and smile while you are talking. Smiling enhances your confidence and helps you relax. Your smile is another way to connect with the crowd. It is a friendly gesture that creates a sense of familiarity, which places both you and your audience at ease.

3. Structure Your Speech Correctly
Your speech should include a strong opening, a filling middle, and an effective closing. Your introduction should grab your audience and make everyone want to hear what is coming next. An expert quote, eye-catching statistic, or personal anecdote grabs the attention of the crowd and hooks them into listening to your message. It makes the audience experience a connection between you and the subject that you are discussing. Make sure to relay solid information throughout your speech and refrain from too much filler. Also, make your point so that the minds in the crowd do not wander. Finally, close your speech with a call to action. This explains to your audience exactly what you want them to think or to do. A great way to mask a direct call to action is with a story that has a moral. This illustrates the important thoughts of your message and gently gets the crowd thinking about the points that you have made.
4. Practice Before the Event
Practicing your speech before the event will make you familiar and comfortable with the words that you will be saying. Also, rehearse your presentation with all of the equipment that you will be using so that unexpected problems can be fixed before the day of the speech. It is vital to arrive at your venue a bit early so that you can practice with the microphone and get a better sense of the space. If you have a set window of time to speak, use a clock to make sure that your words do not run long. Besides practicing in front of a mirror or in your head, it may be smart to tape yourself so that you can go back and watch your delivery. You can analyze the pace of your speech, the tone of your voice, and your overall body language. If you notice any shortcomings, you can adjust accordingly. Sometimes, bad body language can be the reason why your speech fails. Non-verbal communication is just as important as the words that you say. Your posture and nervous behavior can definitely detract from your performance. For example, random pacing, fidgeting hands, and playing with your hair can distract your audience. By watching yourself on tape, you can see how you move and make a conscious effort to correct negative behavior.

5. Study Other Speeches
Some of the best practices for public speaking are evident in the presentations of others. When you research the way that other people talk and interact with audiences, it will be easier for you to uncover the best way to convey your message. Also, if you have heard a particular speech that you have enjoyed, try to follow its model. Examine the way that it flowed and create a speech that follows a similar style. Public speaking is not a natural skill to everyone. Sometimes, it requires learning and practice. There is no better way to learn than by following examples that have had positive effects on you.

6. Consider Your Audience
When you are the one writing and giving a speech, you may tend to talk about things that are important to you. The words that you convey should fit the audience. Before you create a speech, put yourself in the place of the people being addressed. Determine what these individuals want to hear and the best way to deliver your message. For instance, if you are presenting in a formal meeting, it is best to leave the jokes at home and to stick with the facts. However, in a more causal setting, you may try to inject some wit along with your information. When you consider your audience, you are sure to offer a speech that is received well by the crowd.

The above tips are just a few effective public speaking techniques that will help you get through and deliver a solid presentation. Hopefully, following them will give you confidence and will help you impress your audience. There is no doubt that you can overcome any fear and learn how to own any room that you address.

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