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Top 10 Public Speaking Tips...

Whether it is your first speech or a subsequent one, we all suffer from Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) sometimes or the other. We fear facing people, forgetting our script, technical errors, and all sorts of fears which may or may not be realistic. In fact, public speaking is an art or presenting yourself and your point of view in front of others. There are some simple rules that apply to effective public speaking and with practice anybody can become a good public speaker and eventually a great orator!

Top Public Speaking Tips

Here are Top 10 Public Speaking Tips to get you started

1. Know your Audience Well:

Even before you prepare the content of your speech, know your audience well. This is because everything else will be dependent on this. Know the age group of people you will be addressing, the demography they belong to and their objective of attending you speech. Try to identify their problem areas, what solutions they are looking and how your speech will make them more informed. Be very clear of the objectives of conducting this speech.

2. Be well-versed with the Content:

Once you are clear about your target audience and their expectations, script down the content that will provide to-the-point solution or information to the listeners. As there might be some cross-questioning after the speech, you should know your subject matter very well. Also, anticipate some common questions and prepare answers before-hand only. Get a thorough knowledge of the subject matter that you will be talking about in your speech. Make your content interesting by quoting examples, funny incidences and some inspiring stories of successful people. The more you know, the more confident you will be.

3. Practice as much as you can:

You have you speech ready! Now the next most important aspect of public speaking is practicing your speech. Shed away the over-confidence or lack of confidence you have in you, and start practicing as much as you can. First practice it alone, in front of a mirror, look at your facial expressions and notice the tone of your voice. You can even record your speech and hear it again and again to improve the weaker areas. Then, practice it in front of family members, or friends, your pet and anybody to gain confidence and also get valuable feedback from them. Also, make use of a timer so that you don t go overboard out of excitement. Try to maintain a clear, loud voice and keep smiling throughout your speech.

4. Get Familiar with the Venue:

If possible, visit the venue where you will be delivering your speech before hand. The more familiar you are with the place, the better will be your speech. Make sure that the lighting and the sound systems are all adequate. Take a walk around the place, it could be an auditorium or a hall, a stadium, a conference room, or simply a classroom. Test the microphone, the podium, the space around the stage, seating arrangement, and make sure that you will be able to move around in the audience to connect with them.

5. Learn from Successful speakers:

We have had quite a few successful speakers who overcame the fear of Public Speaking and became one of the best orators in the world. Whether to read about Socrates, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. or any of the greatest motivational speakers, you will find that they all have some common traits in them that make them great speakers. Read their books, listen to their speeches, and try to acquire those qualities in your personality too.

6. Personal Grooming:

Looking good is as important as speaking effectively during your speech. Try to look your best on the day of delivering your speech. Dress formally as well as comfortably. The feeling that you are looking 'good' boosts your confidence, adds an attitude to your personality and makes you more appealing. So, concentrate on personal grooming before you present yourself in front of the audience. Audience like listening to people who are well dressed and presentable.

7. Relax Before you Begin:

Relax, before you begin with your speech! You have done your homework well, you are well aware of the subject matter, you have practiced enough. So, why worry? Take a deep breath, be calm and visualize some of your successful moments in your life, before going for this speech. In fact, do anything that will relax you and decrease your anxiety and fear. Make sure the required equipment such as the microphone and your presentation slides are working fine. Infuse energy, passion and courage to face the audience that is as human as you are. Drink water and get ready for the show!

8. Focus on the Core Message:

Greet the audience in a warm manner. Throughout your speech, focus on the core subject. Whatever you speak should ultimately point to the main message you are trying to convey to your audience. Crack a joke to make the ambiance lighter. Engage your audience by asking questions, a two-way interaction will make you as well as the audience feel very comfortable and relaxing. Also, remember even if you are nervous, try not to reveal that to your listeners. Make use of graphics to make your point clear to your audience. Do not get nervous if you miss some points or re-arranged them during your speech. Just give your best shot and focus on the message you are trying to convey.

9. Beware of going Fast:

Here is the thumb rule: Slow and steady wins the audience! Never speed up while delivering a speech. This creates a lot of confusion and negativity. Be firm and clear in your speech. Make sure that your listeners have understood the points you are discussing. Be empathetic to your audience and go step by step, instead of trying to win a race. Strike a balance between the quantity and quality of information you are sharing with your listeners. Pause in between, take small breaks after explaining important points, let the audience think over the matter and then go to the next point.

10. Eye Contact:

Throughout your speech, try to maintain eye contact with your audience. This shows that you are not nervous, you know your subject matter well and you are well prepared with your speech. Eye contact adds trustworthiness among the audience. Don't look here and there, only focus on your audience and your slides. Do you want to improve your Public Speaking Skills? Post your learning need here...

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