Simple ways to excel in Public Speaking
Public speaking was always my weakness during the school days. Whenever I had to get up on to the stage and deliver a speech, my hands use to tremble; mouth would dry up coupled with a feeling of getting unconscious.
Well that is an old story and today I find it quite interesting to stand on a podium and speak. It was not easy, but I could do it by a small initiative / a change in my thinking.
Today we get so many opportunities to speak in our daily life: -
- At work, when you present your product or service to a client.
- A small speech in your housing society meetings
- A presentation to your boss at work.
- A small talk on your child’s PTA meeting.
A small home work before your speech can do wonders to it. The entire process can be broken down into the following steps.
The first and foremost step would be to collect as much as information on the topic. At the beginning forget about the audience and prepare all technical and soft points regarding your subject. You may never know whom you have to face for most of the time.
Analyze your Audience
With a fair idea of the situation where you are going to speak, collect the profile of the expected audience. Outline your speech with the points which they would like to know. An audience centric speaker will always succeed. It will be wise to predict the demographic and social condition of your audience as well.
Now comes the actual part. Apart from preparing and experticing the actual topic of the speech, it is always wise to prepare something light for the audience. The beginning of your speech can be an ice breaking session. Here, I always start my speech with a story which is somewhat related to the topic. This catches the attention of your audience instantly. Once to start off, it is the body language and voice modulation that works along with the quality of the subject. And practicing will only help you to better it.
Sometimes you will be blessed to have a supporting aid with your speech. Nowadays computer and PowerPoint presentation is the best aid to support your speech. If you happen to have it, prepare it well using the right colour, font and text size combination. An occasional insertion of clipart and other pictures will boost the quality of the presentation.
It is again an area with a lot of thrust on the response from the audience. It is often said that even your speech is below par, a good ending statement / situation or words will raise its level. I found the best way to end the speech is with a real life example or with an open ended question to the public which will later attract their interest.
Public speaking is indeed an art and practice can make it better. The best way to boost your confidence is a simple trick which I used to pretend. Whenever I am on the stage, I pretend that my audience does not know what I am going to speak which helped me to add lots of curiosity into the speech. Moreover I used to deliver the punch point as late as possible. That always helped to keep my audience’s attention.
At the end, it is always better to keep a little nervousness during your speech. This not only makes you conscious of the audience and subject, but improves the overall quality of your speech.