Almost every day you will see someone giving a speech on TV, or you may even attend a conference and witness some of these great speakers first hand. The one thing they all appear to have in common is that they can speak to large audiences effortlessly and are usually mesmerizing.
However, if you talk to any of these great speakers you will quickly realize that they once suffered from the same fears as you, but training and practice made the difference. The following tips will ensure you can speak publicly like the best:
Stop Trying So Hard
Many people are desperate to provide an enjoyable, informative and entertaining speech. In their attempts to do so, they go over the top and focus on the presentation. In fact, public speaking is no different than having a conversation with one other person. People respond to you if you are comfortable; the best way to do this is talk directly to your audience as though you are having a conversation with a friend.
In business, however, things are a little different. It’s quite ok to be relaxed and feel comfortable on stage, but you have to stay professional. Just stop fidgeting and look your audience in the eye. That’s all it takes to grab attention.
Don’t Let a Mistake Ruin Your Speech
Mistakes will happen but the audience will not care! Firstly, it will make you seem more human and the audience will relate to you better. Secondly, unless they are reading your speech with you or it is an incredibly obvious blunder, they will not even know you have made a mistake; just keep going.
Visualize Your Fear
One of the best ways of conquering any fear is to visualize yourself beating it. This may mean closing your eyes and picture a rapturous audience before the event or even imagining yourself collecting a prize for the best speech or contribution. Visualizing your success will make it real in your mind and your speech-giving abilities will improve dramatically.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whenever you have the opportunity to practice your speech, do so. This will ensure you know your material. The more comfortable you are with the subject the easier it will be to give your speech. This will also ensure you can talk without reading your notes. This is very important as it allows you to connect with your audience.
Personal Stories Keep the Audience Interested
An audience will love to hear you tell a relevant story, preferably one that includes you and your trials and tribulations. Not only does this make any speech more interesting it will also make you seem more human. Alongside this it will provide the opportunity to inject a little humor and keep the audience interested.
Focus on the Audience and Their Needs
Remember, the speech is not actually about you. To give a successful speech you need to decide what your audience is looking for from the speech and then answer their questions and issues. This will keep them interested and the speech relevant. These two ingredients alone will ensure your speech is successful.
Related Article: How Speaking in Public Made Me a Better Entrepreneur
Keep it Short!
No one likes sitting through a speech that just seems to go on and on. The more you ramble, the more likely it is that you will get off topic and lose the interest of your audience. It is far better to make the speech a little shorter than they expect it to be and leave them wanting more. At the very least they will be eager to hear you speak again!
Visual aids and PowerPoint in particular are a great way to get your message across. However, they can also be a great way to distract your audience. Keep all presentations and visual aids to the point and with minimal writing. They should simply back up your speech.
At least half of what you say and how you say it is actually non-verbal. Be aware of your body, how you move and whether you wave your arms around like a mad person. Show the audience you are calm, confident and comfortable and they will respond to your speech positively. This can also be a good way of letting your audience know you are passionate about the subject; if you enjoy the subject they are more likely to.
Author: Alfred Stallion is a regular contributor at many business-related sites such as http://www.londonspeakerbureau.com/, where he believes you can find world’s best professional speakers.