Public speaking is an essential skill that can do a lot of good to our careers.
Whether you are looking to become a high powered executive or just perform well in interviews and work presentations.
It is a skill that can be learned and will prove useful in every part of life.
The following will be of assistance in improving your public speaking skills:
The majority of people do not like standing up in front of a crowd of people and talking. Nerves can make you speak fast and this can prevent your message from coming across as it should. A speech should be delivered at a reasonable pace with plenty of pauses. This allows the audience to embrace the concepts and ideas being presented. It can be very easy to speak too quickly when reading from a script so whenever possible it is better to have simple notes to guide you. To eliminate nerves it is also helpful to know your material intimately. If you know your facts in depth then you will be able to deal with any questions presented by the audience.
The more prepared you are the better your speech will be and the more confident you will feel when giving it. One of the best ways of being properly prepared is to practice extensively either in front of a mirror or in front of a camera. It is essential to know what it is you want to say and the best way of presenting this information.
As well as knowing your subject matter it is essential to know how much time you need to fill and the best way of filling it. It can be very easy to talk for ten minutes without actually covering the essential points. Keep things factual and informational, and don’t beat around the bush. As long as your plan is well-established, you’ve nothing to worry about.
Eye contact is essential to keeping your audience interested. Looking at people while talking engages each person directly; it allows you to share humor and ensure your audience sees you as sincere. You should not stare directly at any one person as this will becoming unnerving but your eyes should rove around the room. It can also be a good tool for driving important points home.
Just listening to someone talk will be likely to ensure your audience starts to lose attention. Visual aids are a great way of keeping people focused and even assist you with nerves as pre-prepared material can be used. PowerPoint presentations can be an excellent way to add some visual aids or print outs can be handed around the room (provided the audience is not too big). Of course, too many visual aids will distract the audience from your presentation as they will be too busy looking at the images and not taking in the information you are presenting.
Enjoy the quiet
Learning to appreciate the quiet is an excellent way of overcoming nerves. A speech does not mean constant talking, there are times to pause and enjoy the quiet of the moment. This allows the audience to absorb the information you have presented and focus their thoughts. It may seem peculiar at first but does prove to be effective.
Short & sweet
Sometimes it is better to talk less and focus on making a short speech memorable and informative. Studies have shown that the average audience attention span is just twenty minutes. Giving a memorable and effective speech may mean keeping it short. Also, regardless of the nature of your speech, make sure to use simpler terms for everyone to understand. This way you are certain your audience is engaged.
All good public speakers are enthusiastic and energetic about their subject matter. It is essential to display this energy and connect with the audience on this basic level. They will respond to your energy and enthusiasm and gain more from your presentation by doing so. As with many things in life, the more you do something the easier it becomes. Take every opportunity you can to practice public speaking. You will get better at it and the pre-speech nerves will become much less.
By Steve Brown and LondonSpeakerBureau.com!