Looking to be a great public speaker? Then look no further than these tips straight from the pros themselves.
Not a lot of people actually enjoy or look forward to public speaking. If anything, it is usually on the list of biggest fears, right up there with spiders and heights. As scary as it may be, it is a critical skill for anyone aspiring to have a leadership position. Here are some tips.
1. Begin with the end in mind.
Find your purpose and make it clear. Think about what you are trying to accomplish and what you want people to get from your presentation. Having a purpose in mind will help keep you focused on the topic so you don’t end on an unrelated topic.
2. Keep your message simple.
A big mistake that many people have is that they try to sound smarter by adding in unnecessary words. Stay on topic and use rhetoric that is clear. You want people to understand what you are saying. 3. Avoid the Powerpoint Trap.
3. Avoid the Powerpoint trap.
Even if we think we are adding such important information to the Powerpoint, you do not want to bore your audience or distract them from what you have to say. If you do use Powerpoint, make sure to keep the slides simple, compelling, and graphically compelling.
4. Connect with the audience.
Presenter’s often try to make themselves sound smart and qualified in a certain topic. The audience already knows this, that is why they are listening to you. Trying to sound smart will only create distance with your audience and make you come off as pretentious and arrogant. Keep it simple and be yourself. Adding in a joke or two will make you come off as approachable and the audience will instantly feel more connected.
5. Tell personal stories.
People love hearing about other people. Adding in a story, as long as it is not boring or too long, will make the audience find you approachable and make your message more memorable. Stories are much easier to remember than facts and numbers.
6. Prepare and practice.
Not only will you feel more comfortable presenting, but your audience will think you’re a natural. Although many think they can just “Wing it,” most cannot do it successfully. Having the material written down somewhere will avoid those awkward gaps of silence and make you look like you know what you’re doing. It is also suggested to record yourself and watch how you act. Similar to an athlete trying to get better, you want to look as comfortable as you can while still looking professional. Check on your facial expressions, too. Over 90% of our communication is through body language and facial expressions.
7. Don’t be monotone.
Maintaining the same tone, vocal rhythm, pitch, or gesture patterns will make your audience fall asleep. People can only pay attention for so long before they tune you out. If you are monotone, you will speed up this process. Have some energy and be fun. Adding enough variety will keep the audience engaged.
8. Let your passion show.
Nothing is more engaging than someone who truly loves what they are talking about. There is no substitute for authentic passion- be yourself!