Are you terrified of public speaking? You’re not alone. You can learn to speak publicly with ease, but several secrets will take your public speaking game to the next level.
Confidence, preparation, and understanding of your audience determine how good your speech will turn out. Here, we’ll share eight secrets to help you become a great public speaker.
These eight game-changing secrets will elevate your public speaking to the next level:
1. Preparation is critical. If you want to deliver a great speech, it’s important to know your subject inside and out.
● Research thoroughly and take the time to understand all aspects of your topic. This way, you can answer questions that come up and address any concerns your audience may have.
● Create an outline of your main points and have supporting evidence for crucial statements. Your outline will be your roadmap as you write and help keep you on track.
● As you’re researching, note any interesting facts or stories to illustrate your points. These will make your speech more engaging and memorable.
● Think about who your audience is and prepare for potential questions.
● Practice your speech several times before stage time. It will help you iron out any kinks and polish your delivery.
● Finally, be familiar with the room and environment to make sure you’re comfortable.
2. Be aware of your body language and use it effectively. Your body language is just as important as your words. Be mindful of your posture, hand gestures, and facial expressions.
● Stand up straight with your shoulders back. It will make you look and feel more confident. In addition, research suggests that power posing (taking up more space with your body) for just two minutes can increase confidence levels.
● Make eye contact with your audience members. It will make them feel engaged and that you’re speaking to them directly. It will also help you keep track of their reactions. Lastly, this also helps you maintain focus and avoid getting lost in your thoughts.
● Use hand gestures to emphasize your points but avoid overdoing them. Instead, keep your movements natural and avoid any awkward fidgeting.
● Practice your speech in front of a mirror to get an idea of how you look and sound. It will help you make any necessary adjustments to your body language.
3. Solve a problem with your speech. Your audience wants to know you can solve their problems. So how do you show them you’re the one for the job? By delivering a speech that is informative and persuasive.
● To write a great speech, start by identifying your key message. What are you trying to achieve with your speech? Once you know your purpose, you can begin crafting your arguments.
● Remember to back up your claims with evidence and make sure your reasoning is sound.
● Next, focus on your delivery. A brilliant speech is not just about the words you say but also how you say them. Pay attention to your tone of voice, volume, and pace. These elements can help make your argument more convincing.
4. Use humor sparingly but effectively to lighten the mood. Humor is a great way to engage your audience and keep them entertained. But it’s essential to use it sparingly. Too much humor can make you seem unprofessional or even insensitive.
● Start with a joke that applies to your topic. It will help you connect with your audience and set the tone for the rest of your speech.
● Use self-deprecating humor to show that you’re comfortable making fun of yourself. Your audience will feel at ease when they see that you’re not taking yourself too seriously.
● Avoid offensive jokes or humor that can offend people. It could alienate your audience and damage your credibility.
● End with a funny story or joke to leave your audience laughing and wanting more.
5. Be prepared to pivot. No matter how well you prepare, there’s always a chance something will go wrong. Whether it’s a technical malfunction or an unruly audience member, being prepared to pivot will help you stay calm and collected in adversity.
● Have a backup plan for your presentation in case of technical difficulties.
● Be ready to address audience members who may be disruptive.
● Think on your feet and be ready to improvise if necessary. Improvisation is a skill that we can learn and practice.
6. Calm your nerves. You might feel nervous or anxious before your speaking engagement. Of course, nerves are normal, but if they hinder your performance, you might explore methods to reduce your anxious feelings.
● Take several deep breaths in and out before you go on stage. Also, try visualizing yourself on stage, giving your life’s performance.
● Listen to relaxing music. Studies show that relaxing music can help to reduce nerves and anxious thoughts when performing in front of a crowd. Choose jazz, panpipes, classical, or whatever you prefer.
● Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings. They can offer moral and emotional support.
● If you struggle with ongoing nerves and anxious thoughts, you might want to see a therapist. Ask your doctor to refer you to a reputable therapist for an assessment.
● Don’t let setbacks throw you off course. Instead, take a deep breath and remind yourself of your goal. Keep calm, no matter what happens. Losing your cool can destroy your credibility.
7. Dress appropriately. Your clothing choices should be appropriate for the occasion and the audience you’re speaking to. For example, you would dress differently for a formal business event than a casual meetup with friends.
● Avoid wearing anything too revealing or distracting. You want your audience to focus on your message, not your clothes.
● Choose clothing that is comfortable and allows you to move freely. You’ll be more confident if you’re not worrying about your clothes falling off or feeling constricted.
● Dress in a way that reflects your personality and the tone of your speech. For example, if you’re giving a lighthearted speech, you might dress casually.
8. Have fun. Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but it’s also an opportunity to share your ideas. Remember to have fun and enjoy the experience. Public speaking is a great way to connect with others and make a difference.
● Remember to be yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. The more fun you have, the more your audience will enjoy hearing you speak.
Public speaking is a skill that we can learn and perfect with practice. By following these tips, you can become a skilled public speaker.
Just remember to be prepared, confident, and yourself. Also, use the power of body language, have fun, and practice until you perfect your speech. Use these tips to skyrocket your success the next time you’re called upon to give a speech.