Five Ways To Become A Better Public Speaker
Date: April 24, 2016
Whether you associate yourself as a proficient speaker or a beginner, there are innumerable tips you can attempt to impress your audience and leave an enduring impression.
Stop doing things your audience dislikes, and focus on creating a welcoming environment and giving your absolute all to every presentation.
We all know people who are immune to fear and present themselves with such a mannerism that everyone in the room can’t take their eyes off of them.
Here are five ways you can fake your way to confidence and become a better public speaker.
1. Eliminate All Distractions During Your Presentation
Handing out leaflets before your talk gives people the impression that you want them to prioritise reading the pieces of paper over listening to you.
Wondering through lines of text, they’ll miss out on any important information you have to tell.
Don’t hand out leaflets during or after the talk. Go paperless. If people want a summary of key notes from your talk, encourage them to visit your blog where they can find everything they need on there.
Consequently, this will increase your website reach and help people to remember you after your presentation is over.
2. Remember Ideas, Not A Script
If you want your speech to sound forced and scripted, then by all means, remember every word you’ve written (along with planning when you’ll need to take a breath).
But to give your speech genuineness, personality and emotion, remember your main concepts and allow your brain to be free mid-presentation.
Trying to memorise each word not only makes you seem like a robot which has been programmed to behave only a certain way, but it doesn’t allow you to have a presence, and can actually make you forget what you’re about to say.
You’ll eventually lose your place and be stood on stage like a lost bunny.
Yes, write a script and read through it several times, but don’t over-rehearse. Everything has to come from the heart, not a piece of paper.
Create key bullet points of topics and ideas which are necessary to your points – things you cannot afford to miss. Spend time remembering these, because it’ll give your speech a solid structure but also allow for flexibility.
3. Be More Open And Honest
Somebody once said to me that they admire my honesty with myself. I get angry, sad, happy and scared like everyone else, but I don’t falsify my emotions.
This means that I’m honest with people (sometimes a little too much), but it has always helped with any performance I’ve had to do.
If you’re talking about a moving subject, then allow yourself to get lost in the emotion of it. If that means shedding a tear, then do it. The audience will respect you for being so open, plus it’ll show that you’re speaking from the heart and not out of a textbook.
You can’t cue in when you’ll laugh or cry – it all depends on the heat of the moment, and if you don’t over rehearse every line of your speech, you’ll be more likely to let go and actually hear and feel what you’re saying.
4. Don’t Rely On PowerPoint
Technology is an amazing thing, although it can’t always be trusted. So don’t structure your speech around PowerPoint.
If it were to fail or even just be a slight slower than anticipated, you’ll feel awkward and draw the audience’s attention away from your topics to the error.
Not only could there be technical issues, but interactive screens are so impersonal and are often used as a protection for speakers who are nervous about presenting and need some kind of barrier between them and the audience.
Use your words, actions, emotion and body language to portray your points, not distractive images and text planted on a screen.
If you are an avid user of slideshows, then only show them after you’ve spoken to prevent all eyes going to the screen and not you. Use font large enough for even the people at the back to read, and have no more than one sentence on a slide.
Or, be safe and steer clear.
5. Go With The Flow
No matter if it’s speakers or performers, there’s nothing better than them interacting with the audience or improving. It makes the show feel like it’s only personal to you and can never be copied.
If you block out every distraction and opportunity that is happening in the room, you’re not allowing yourself to go with the flow and be free.
As mentioned with technology above, mistakes will happen and not everything will go to plan, because you can’t control everything.
Live in the moment and if someone asks a question, don’t panic and freeze because you didn’t plan exactly what to say to make yourself sound sophisticated; use it as a chance to introduce a new idea and have some fun.
Not everything has to be so serious.
The best thing about speaking is that you have the power to set the mood in the room and to make every person who’s watching you feel something.
Call it scary, but that’s incredible.
What you say and do impacts how people feel, so use the points above to become a better public speaker and bring them into your world.