How to become a highly effective public speaker
Whether you like it or not, there may well be times in your life when you will be asked to make a public speech. It can be in the form of a presentation or a lecture. It can also be in the form of making a speech at a special occasion. The skills needed to be a highly effective public speaker can be demonstrated when making a pitch for a new role or other situations when these skills will be in play. However, not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of getting up and giving a speech. Many people have a fear of speaking in a room full of strangers.
It is important to keep in mind that feeling some nerves when you are asked to speak in public is only natural. However, it is possible to become a highly effective public speaker. It does need the right approach and a lot of practice. But you can become a really amazing public speaker who leaves a lasting impression. You need to take a number of steps to be free of your fears and become a charismatic, confident and highly effective public speaker.
Here is a list of seven top tips to help you become a better public speaker. These will help you in overcoming your fears of public speaking and become a charismatic, effective and confident public speaker.
1. Always Be Positive
The first rule of effective public speaking is that you always have to be positive. Try not to overthink and create internal stress by thinking negatively about the situation. Negative thinking can keep you off balance and can cause you to make mistakes. This will affect your performance and afterwards may leave you with a feeling of inadequacy. A little bit of nervousness is fine as you can turn that energy into positive adrenalin, but only if you maintain a positive narrative internally.
2. Focus on the Concepts Instead of Memorising Content
If you think you’re the only one who is unable to memorise the content of a 40 minutes presentation, rest assured that you’re not alone. Everybody faces the same problem. It’s not possible to memorise everything you are going to say during a 40 minutes presentation. The good news is that contrary to popular opinion, memorising every single word is not the best way to make a flawless speech. Instead, it may seem overly rehearsed. Thus it can have an overall detrimental effect on communicating the messages and concepts to the target audience.
Therefore, it is recommended to focus on the concepts, ideas and facts that you hope to convey instead of memorising the content of the presentation. Focusing on concepts can be highly productive. The best way to do this is to make a smart list of bullet points that cover various information, data, stories and content that you want to include in your presentation.
You need to learn about these bullet points and speak naturally during your presentation. This will help you in delivering a highly engaging and natural presentation. It will also help you to adapt your presentation according to the audience and their response to the presentation.
3. Lessons in elocution
Some people do not realise this but sometimes they tend to mumble when they are nervous. Some people also have a very strong regional accent that prevents them from delivering their presentation effectively. There are a number of companies in the UK that can help with such issues. There is evidence, rightly or wrongly there is an increase in people who are softening strong accents to be understood. Elocution lessons can be highly beneficial in helping you to express yourself highly effectively and more clearly.
4. Focus on images
It is important to keep in mind that the best presentations focus more on images instead of words. Therefore, it is recommended to incorporate visuals and keywords instead of huge blocks of text. This will not only have a very strong impact on the audience but it will also help you in making your point very clearly.
5. Connect with the Audience by Making It Personal
Your audience will have a far easier time in connecting with you if you incorporate various personal anecdotes, stories and other experiences into the presentation. It is also important to keep in mind that they are not there to listen to your life story (if that is not the topic of presentation) but the integration of some personal aspects can help in keeping them interested in your speech.
6. Method of Presentation
It is true that the content of the actual presentation is important but the way you are going to make a speech or make the presentation is also extremely important. Therefore, you should also focus on the way you are going to speak to the audience. The best way to go about it is to know your audience and make your presentation or speech interesting to them. You should focus on attention-grabbing sentences that are short and lively. Stay away from long, complex and unnecessary terms.
7. Dress Appropriately
You also need to dress appropriately for the occasion. If you are not comfortable, it is going to affect your confidence and your speech. Therefore, it is important that you feel the part, and are not distracted by uncomfortable clothing or accessories.
If you follow these tips and practise regularly you have every chance of becoming a highly effective public speaker.