Being able to speak well in public can open plenty of doors in your professional life. Unfortunately, there are many people who are afraid to speak in public. There are others who are not afraid to get up in front of a group to speak, but they don’t know how to. A good public speaker is someone who is able to leave a powerful impression when they are done speaking. If the speaker and their message are quickly forgotten, it makes the entire speech pointless. Below are tips that you should follow if you want to give a positive and memorable speech.
Tip 1- Speak To Move People To Action
Before you make your speech, you should know exactly what you want your audience to do immediately after hearing the speech. If most of your audience jumps to action, your speech was a success. If they don’t do anything different after they hear you speak, your speech was useless. Before you start speaking, you should know exactly what you want your speech to motivate your audience to do.
Tip 2- Get Your Audience Hooked In the First Sentence
If you really want your audience to take an interest in what you are saying, you need to start with a “grabber.” There are a few grabbers that you can use. A personal story, a shocking statistic, or a quote from an expert all work great. This will allow the audience to see that you have a personal connection to the topic. If they are hooked on what you are saying from the beginning, they will be focused for the entire speech.
Tip 3- The Structure of Your Speech Is Important
There is more to the structure of the speech than just starting out with a grabber. You also need to have a middle and a close. The middle should be what you need your audience to know and to understand. It is a good idea to make the middle personal, using stories about the topic. In the closing, you should sum up the main points that you want people to know before you end your speech.
Tip 4- Practice
You never want to make a speech to an audience without practicing. You should practice your speech out loud. It is good to use a tape recorder so that you can hear yourself after. If you are planning to use visual aids such as a Powerpoint presentation, you should use them while you are rehearsing. You should do everything that you would during your speech. Make sure that you are pausing and taking breaths in the right spots. Finally, time yourself while you rehearse so that your speech doesn’t go on longer than it should. When you are timing yourself, give yourself some time for unexpected issues. If you must stop for questions or comments that should be left to the end of the speech, you want to allow some extra time.
Tip 5- Get To Know a Few People in the Audience Ahead of Time
When you are getting ready to give your speech, you don’t need to hide behind the scenes until your entire audience arrives. It is actually a good idea to get to know the first few people who arrive. If you feel like you have a few allies in the audience, it will make speaking much easier. Speaking to friends is much easier than speaking to strangers. If you meet a few people before the speech, you will feel more relaxed.
Tip 6- Arrive Early to Learn the Setup
If is a good idea to arrive for your speech early. You will need time to learn the layout of speaking area. If you are speaking on a stage, you want to know where the stairs and the podium are. If you are planning to move around during your speech, which is a good idea, you need to know these things. Also, you need time to set up your visual aids properly so that everything is in working order when you are ready to speak.
Tip 7- Relax
It is important that you appear to be relaxed when you start speaking to your audience. When you are relaxed and confident, you will look more credible. If you use a personal story for your grabber, it can help you relax. When you feel that your audience understands you on a personal level, you will feel like you are talking to friends, which helps you relax.
#8 Visualize Yourself As Being a Success
Visualization actually works. Many people don’t believe this, but it is true. Before you start speaking, you should visualize yourself at the end of your speech, answering questions to an engaged crowd. You can also visualize them applauding you. This can make you feel more confident when you start your speech.
#9 Pauses are Important
As mentioned above, you need to add pauses in your speech. If you don’t know where to add the pauses, it can ruin the entire speech. Each pause should be no less than 3 seconds long and no longer than 8 seconds. You should pause right before you make a key statement. This gives your audience to prepare their minds for what you are about to say. You should also pause right after telling a story. This will give your audience a chance to understand what you are saying and to absorb the information that you just gave them.
#10 Don’t Apologize
If you stumble on your words or make a mistake, don’t apologize. Chances are, the audience didn’t even realize that you made a mistake. If you apologize, they will realize it.
It is a good idea to smile while you are giving your speech. If you smile, it shows that you care about what you are speaking about. If the audience doesn’t think that you care about what you are speaking about, they won’t care enough to pay attention.
#12 Try To Get Some Experience
If you have an opportunity, try to get some experience in public speaking. Many communities have storytelling seminars, which is a great way to practice. If you cannot find a venue to speak in public, you could listen to others speak so that you can get a few tips. Not only will you learn something from your experience, you will also feel more confident.
Public speaking is an amazing talent to have and it can help you greatly in your career. If you follow the tips listed above, you should be a success at your next public speaking event.