Speaking in public can be a daunting task for even the boldest individuals. The speaker must be articulate, concise and personable during his entire speech, which takes a lot of practice and commitment. The preparation is worth it, however, because everyone must speak in front of a crowd on a particular topic at some point – be it your family at a gathering, colleagues during a staff meeting, clients at a sales pitch, etc.
Here are tips you can use to give an excellent speech:
- Know your topic inside-out: This is important for effectively passing on information about a concept to your audience, and it comes in handy if questions arise. Not only will you not have to memorise a speech, but people can tell when a person is truly knowledgeable about their subject matter.
- Understand your audience: Many public experts cite this notable point. Understanding your audience helps you know what jargon to use, illustrations to explain with, or if the subject matter of the speech is even relevant to them at all. Find out from the organisers the kind of crowd that will attend and be prepared in advance.
- Calm your nerves: We’ve all had to sit through a nervous speech rendition before, and they can be very uncomfortable for both the speaker and audience. Experts suggest techniques like slow deep breaths or clenching and unclenching of fists to keep anxiety at bay.
- Create back-up plans: According to Inc.com, our nerves are a product of our worst fears of what could go wrong during our presentation. What if I forget my speech, for example? Or what if the projector stops working? The solution is to prepare for these scenarios ahead of time so you are not caught off-guard if they do happen.
- Be yourself: Easier said than done, but keep your mind at ease, be genuine and allow yourself to share true life stories that your audience can relate to. This prevents the presentation from being stiff, not relatable and uninspiring for your audience. You’re also more likely to speak with passion in your voice and not in a monotonous manner when you’re enjoying yourself.