Becoming A Successful Speaker
Date: May 17, 2015
It does not matter whether you are an experienced public speaker or simply contemplating the idea of talking to the world about topics you know about, public speaking is a lot more than just speaking with the help of cue cards.
Here are a few essentials to becoming a public speaker.
Who You Are
Not all speakers are the same. In fact, the first thing that you need to do as a speaker is find out what your top interpersonal qualities are. How do you connect with people, and what qualities do you think you need to work on?
The most effective speakers are the ones who capitalise on their strengths and constantly work on them. Your interpersonal qualities are what make you unique and engaging.
Can You Tell A Story?
Your audiences may be attracted to the speaking event because of the valuable information that you promise to share. You may have marketed the event well and have lots of people attending. But the important thing is, once they arrive at your talk you want them to stay through to the end and enjoy it.
Audiences love stories. Of course they want to hear your expertise and knowledge on the subject on which you are speaking, but they love stories. Stories get your message across.
If you have the ability to tell the story in a compelling way, then you will be able to not just engage, but excite and energise your audience. Some seminars and events can take a huge chunk of the day and that means audiences will be tired to put two more hours into it. Your goal then becomes for them to hang on your every word and expect more and more.
When you are sharing stories, never be afraid to tell people about your personal experiences. You can even start off your talk this way. Done properly, you can even reveal vulnerabilities about yourself without looking any less like an expert.
This captivates people more than plain fact sharing ever will!
Did you know that public speaking is close to the top of the list of fears?
The key to overcoming this is to become confident. You may have fantastic material prepared for the session, but telling it in a timid and meek manner will fail to engage your audience. But of course, being confident is easier said than done.
If you feel nervous before a speech starts, try not to worry and just remember that people don’t know what’s going on inside your head. The truth is, most people feel nervous and suffer from lack of confidence before they speak in front of an audience. But the trick is not to make this obvious.
Accept that it is normal to feel nervous. Confidence is helped by rehearsing what you’re going to see and knowing your topic inside out. Once you are on stage and speaking to the audience, they will be able to tell if you know what you’re talking about so make sure you prepare properly. This will give you confidence.
Practice what you’re going to say out loud. This doesn’t have to be in front of anybody, it can be in a room by yourself. It is best to practice using the same stature as you will be during the real talk; if you’ll be delivering the talk standing up, then practice standing up.
If you do this well, you already know how you will be looking and sounding like and that will take the edge off your anxiety.
A few extra tips to help you along:
- Stretch and take deep breaths before you start talking
- Visualise your audience having a great reaction at the end of your talk
- Always have an extra copy of your notes
- Don’t rely on your notes, and make sure you can give a presentation even if something happens to them
- If you are using an electronic slideshow, make sure all the equipment is working well in advance
Remember you are giving this talk because you’re passionate about the subject. Be confident and reassure yourself that you know what you are talking about.