Public speaking is an art of giving speeches to inform, persuade or entertain. Public speaking is not necessarily about giving speeches in front of thousands of people. Talking in front of three or four people is also public speaking and we all at one point in our lives will be engaged in this art. As I wrote in my previous article, it could be in front of your classmates, colleagues or when giving a presentation at work. This is something we cannot escape but we must be ready before that time.
Today, I will be sharing with us some tips in public speaking. These are some of the tips I have used in my career as a public speaker and I am super excited to share them with you. Enjoy the ride guys…
1) KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE:
Whenever you are told to speak on a particular topic, always find out about the audience you will be addressing. Know their age bracket, their profession, their culture, and the likes. Knowing your audience will help you prepare your material and yourself for the talk and while speaking you could say something about your audience. If you are speaking on a topic- Goal Getting and your audience are undergraduates, your speech would be in line with their academics but if you are speaking to businessmen and entrepreneurs, your speech would be in line to the business world. Knowing about your audience would prepare you ahead of time on your speech.
2) ORGANIZE YOUR MATERIAL IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE MANNER:
Public speaking is an art. Your main goal is to pass knowledge to your audience. Please do not confuse your listeners. Arrange your speech, arrange your materials. Your speech should have a Beginning, Middle and an End. Do not mix up everything. Drive home every point you are making before moving to the next one. If you know what you are saying but the manner at which you are presenting it is messed up, your message would not be passed to your listeners. So, always organise your speeches.
3) PRACTICE AND PREPARE:
No matter how good you are in public speaking, you’ve got to practice your speech. Visualize yourself on stage talking, feel the energy flowing through your body. Practice, they say makes perfect. You have to keep practicing to be 100% ready.
4) WATCH FOR FEEDBACKS AND ADAPT TO IT:
While practicing, you could invite your close friends to play the role of your audience and listen while you practice and they should give feedbacks. Negative feedbacks should not pull you down but should be a means of learning and perfecting your art. You can also record your speech and use that to discover the mistakes you made while speaking. Make sure you have your friends or mentor around. These people will spot the hidden mistakes that are not visible to you and help you improve.
5) LET YOUR PERSONALITY COME THROUGH:
While speaking, be yourself. Do not try to be someone you’re not. Be natural and let it flow from within you. Do not mimic other speakers. Have your own trend. There is more fun when you allow your personality come through than when you pretend to be someone else.
6) USE HUMOR, TELL STORIES, AND USE EFFECTIVE LANGUAGE:
Do not be boring when speaking. It wouldn’t be a nice experience that while you are speaking, your audience are sleeping or they lose attention of what you are saying. Humans love to listen to stories, they love to laugh, give it to them. Joke around a little while speaking; tell them a funny story about your pet but it has to be in line with the topic you are speaking on. Use effective language to communicate to your audience. Let your session be interactive and have fun with them. I promise you, they will love you.
7) DON’T READ UNLESS YOU HAVE TO WORK FROM AN OUTLINE:
Why do some people go on stage and read directly from a material?
It’s Public Speaking, not Public Reading. You keep reading from a material and your audience cannot see your eyes. Believe me, that is poor public speaking because you will be more focused on the material than your audience. If you must read, it should be from an outline or PowerPoint slides. The outlines should guide you while speaking.
8) USE YOUR VOICE AND HANDS EFFECTIVELY:
Learn to use your body while speaking. Use your hands to demonstrate some things. Use your voice, your voice should rise and fall at some point to drive home something. Pause for some seconds after giving a point and let it ‘sink’ in the minds of your audience.
9) GRAB ATTENTION AT THE BEGINNING AND CLOSE WITH A DYNAMIC END:
You can start your speech by telling a story, telling a joke, stating a scientific fact or asking a question. You have to grab the attention of your audience at the beginning. Make them listen to you. Do the same thing at the end of your speech. Drop the bomb at the end. You can also end with a quote from a famous personality.
“These tips should not depart from your heart, but you should meditate on it day and night and work with it and you will see the good results.” Remember to have fun while speaking and let it flow naturally.
Written by Livingstone Imonitie
(Writer and Public Speaker)
+234 810 606 8693