Speak so people want to listen!
Great public speakers follow a set of public speaking rules, this is why they always appear to be on “top of their game.” Profound public speakers are intentional in their approach to public speaking; you should be intentional as well, if you want to be perceived as a leader.
This article provides you with 12 public speaking tips that will help others perceive you as the leader that you are.
Great Public Speakers Are Always Prepared.
If the President of the United States has to prepare before speaking, then you need to prepare as well. Preparation is absolutely critical to successful public speaking.
Whenever I prepare a speech there is one crucial thing that I really pay attention to: focus. Out of the million things want to say about a topic, what are the most important ones I want my audience to walk away with?
To achieve a strong message you need to be very picky about the information you include in your speech so as not to fall in to the trap of trying to include everything.
Grab your speech, stand in front of a mirror & ask yourself if you’re staying focused.
Tell Great Stories
People love stories, …and I’m not exactly sure why, but you will engage a 5 year old, as well as a CEO, with a good relevant story. Begin with a story, and feel free to end with a story.
So how do you use storytelling when giving a presentation? I’m not a natural-born storyteller, you say. Well nonsense! Everybody tells stories – that’s how we as human beings communicate!
You don’t need to begin with a grand story, or end with one. Intertwine stories with each of your focused points, if you really want people to remember them. Don’t see stories as anything more than a conversation between you & another person. You do it all the time on the phone. Talk about a problem: where you were, how you felt & how it was resolved. It’s that simple.
Audiences love stories, but they also love songs, so when you speak, connect all of your words in each of your phrases, like you’re singing a song. People will enjoy hearing your voice, when it sounds like a song, give it a try.
Be Mindful Of Your Breathing
Your voice is a wind instrument. Only speak, when you’re breathing out. This tip will give your voice greater resonance and authority.
Control Your Nerves
If you’re prone to getting nervous, just slow down. The more nervous you are, the slower you should speak, and the more confident you should act. Expect nerves! Butterflies are absolutely normal before any presentation. Don’t let that natural stress create extra, unnecessary stress. Fear isn’t always a bad thing, after all!
Take a few minutes to walk around and visualize how the room will be set up prior to your speech. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Eat a normal meal.
Prepare for dry mouth. I’ve found that few things create more self-consciousness than a dry mouth. Drink plenty of water ahead of time – and have water on hand.
Leaders are loud, don’t speak to people, speak through people!
Master the Beginning and the End
You should know how you want to begin and end every important conversation or presentation. Practice the first minute, and the last minute, more than any other minutes.
Unless, of course, you’re really boring! If you’re really boring, then you should probably consider being someone else.
Speak Off The Cuff
Although practice is important, don’t memorize what you’re going to say verbatim. Practice provides an opportunity for you to work out the kinks, but you should speak to your audience in a conversational tone.
Don’t be afraid to improvise. You’re the only one with a hard copy of the speech, after all.
Take Your Time
You can avoid speech fillers like “ummm” and “you know” by taking your time. Let the audience wait…. for the profound things you have to say. There’s no need to rush. Speak, and even move, deliberately.
Engage and Connect
Whether you’re speaking to one person, or a large audience, you always want to elicit head nods, eye contact, and other forms of non-verbal feedback. This is how you ensure the audience is engaged. When you ignore the audience, not looking for their non-verbal cues, only pushing information out to them, they will certainly ignore you as well.
Vary Your Pace and Inflection
Use a different pace of speed, and vary your inflection, depending on what you’re saying. Say some things loud, but say other things quietly; say some things quickly, and then take your time while telling a story; keep your inflections and pace interesting, keep your audience guessing.
Bonus Tip – Love the Audience
If you love the audience, then you won’t be another boring presenter, if you love the audience, you will respect their time, and their intelligence, and you won’t make them sit through a worthless presentation; you will engage them, you will challenge them, and you will entertain them.