8 Powerful Public Speaking Tips
When it’s your turn to stand up and speak to an audience, whether it is a room of five or an auditorium of hundreds, you can speak confidently and effectively when you use these eight powerful public speaking tips.
Don’t be discouraged by the fear of public speaking or past presentation challenges. Remember that successful public speaking is a skill-set based on learning and practicing the fundamental techniques of public speaking.
The opening to your presentation must grab the attention of your audience and establish rapport. You could reveal an amazing statistic; ask a question; state a quotation from a famous person; create a visual image or tell a story. Don’t start your presentation with “Today I’m going to talk about…’ That’s boring.
Direct Eye Contact
Don’t speak at the audience – instead speak directly to each individual in the audience by making eye contact with each one in the audience. Deliver a few words as you look at one person – then move your glance to another. Too long a glance is intrusive – too short can appear shifty-eyed. Talk with everyone in your audience – one person at a time.
Smile More Often
Smile when you start your presentation. Smile when you have stated an important fact. Smile when you want them to laugh. Smile just after you said your name. Smile when asking for the order. Smile when you close. There are many occasions to smile. Use them. Smiling is contagious.
Help your audience laugh. Use exaggeration or surprise. Tell a funny story about something silly you once did. Humor is tragedy or embarrassment removed by time. Don’t tell jokes that put anyone else down. Instead make fun of yourself. Humor must be inclusive not exclusive. Everyone wants to laugh.
Look More Confident
Be prepared – but don’t be so slick that your audience disbelieves you. People accept your errors. It makes you look human and imperfect like they are. Don’t fret about small mistakes – just carry on. And don’t apologize about every mistake – it over-emphasizes the mistakes.
Use Words they Understand
Speak in the language of your listeners. Engineers need how to’s and facts – tolerances, specifications & blueprints. Accountants want numbers – balance sheets, debits & ROI. Sales people are interested in – commissions, customer benefits & price. Find out what the organization calls their people – members, staff, associates, investors or true believers.
Use Your Voice
Play with your voice to keep interest and emphasize key points. Lower your voice to make an important point. Speed up when you are describing a process. Ask rhetorical questions which allow you to inflect your voice. Put feeling in words that naturally lend themselves to emotion, e.g. family, Christmas, grandma, home, first prize, baby, vacation…
Make your close memorable and effective. Conclude with a call to action; end with a quotation; sum up your key points; repeat your opening line; end with a story. Avoid ending with ‘thank you’. That is a very weak close and not memorable. Finish strong and then say ‘thank you’ after they applaud.
If you want to be a more powerful public speaker study and use these eight public speaking tips. You will feel more confident as a speaker and your audience will be amazed by your presentation.
Article by: George Torok