The 7 P’s Of Public Speaking
Date: June 29, 2015
Some people find Public speaking comes naturally but to others it’s not so easy. Here are seven easy tips that will help you perfect your speaking
7 P’s of Public Speaking
Are you one of those people who, when going on a trip leaves packing your case to the last minute? If so, the chances are you have arrived at your destination and discovered you have forgotten something. Same thing when you are preparing for your public speaking engagement. Don’t leave everything to the last minute.
You need to be prepared well in advance with the items you need to take like your notes, the name of the person you were hired by, the address of the venue, your business cards etc. Not only that but the actual presentation itself needs careful preparation. Great speakers make it look easy, but that only happens because they are well prepared for what they are doing.
There is no need to go for elocution lessons to learn how to pronounce your words. And there is no need to talk “posh” in an effort to be understood. If you have a regional accent, use it to your advantage. Many public figures have strong regional accents but just about everyone can understand them. This is because they pronounce their words perfectly.
Don’t mumble when you are giving a talk and practice perfect pronunciation every time you speak whether it is to your family or to a stranger. Practice speaking clearly every time you speak and not just when you are giving a presentation.
This is different from Pronunciation. You may speak very clearly but yet the audience cannot hear what you are saying.
I once remember hearing Pavarotti perform to an audience of over 4000 people, and he did it without using a microphone. His years of training allowed him to project his voice to that everyone from the front to the back of the theatre could hear him clearly. If you have never had lessons on how to project your voice then it may be an idea to invest in a few.
Remember that the best public speakers give performances and not presentations. Audiences engage more when they are entertained and are much more likely to remember what you have said and just as importantly they will remember you.
Performing your presentation will help build your brand. This in turn will help get you more speaking engagements.
Bring your presentation to life and engage your audience by making parts of your talk personal. Now I don’t mean talk too much about your personal life, but tell short stories about yourself that will emphasise your presentation. This also has the added advantage of helping the audience to connect with you more as a person. And we all know that we are more likely to listen to someone with whom we can identify that some stranger talking “at” us.
There is absolutely no excuse for not being prepared for your talk. Your number one priority is to give the best talk you can and that means practice. Audiences are a canny lot and know when you have just thrown together a talk you have not prepared for.
Spend time practicing the art of public speaking and rehearsing each individual talk you give. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that you don’t need to practice – even the best practice and rehearse until they can give their presentation without even thinking.
PowerPoint (or similar)
If you are going to use some kind of visual aid then make sure you do it properly. For a while there PowerPoint presentations were synonymous with boring talks. It was all too easy for speakers to hide behind a PowerPoint presentation that was not very well thought out and looked old fashioned.
If you are going to use a visual aid make sure it is 100% relevant to your talk. The slide show is not your talk with you simply narrating the slides. It should be the other way round. The on screen presentation would be used to enhance what you are saying. There are many professional PowerPoint editors out there. So if you are not able to make your own great presentation, get someone to do it for you.