Public speaking is the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience. This type of speech is deliberately structured with three general purposes: to inform, to persuade, and to entertain.
Imagine what it would be like if you knew that the moment you entered a room, people would immediately take notice, want to hear what you have to say, and be eager to earn your approval.
For effective public speakers, this is a way of life. Everyone is impacted by their presence. People are magnetically drawn to them and feel strangely compelled by their every word.
An effective speaker is seen as a leader. People like you, trust you and want to be led by you. However, contrary to popular belief, people are not born public speakers. If public speaking were an inherent attribute, all public speakers would be captivating, and that’s just not the case.
Preparation will also help you to improve the quality of your speaking. Too often, speakers are not as effective as they could be because they haven’t given enough thought or practice to what they really want to say and how they want to say it.
The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Take the time to go over your notes several times. Once you have become comfortable with the material, practice—a lot. Videotape yourself, or get a friend to critique your performance.
2. Know Your Audience.
Your Speech Is About Them, Not You.
Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.
3: Hydrate yourself
Most would think this a crazy thing to do before speaking. But you know why so many speakers keep water with them when they speak? Nerves dry up your mouth. And when your mouth dries up, you will have a harder time articulating your thoughts. To that end, make sure you drink plenty of water before and during your speech. Now this doesn’t mean down it like you’ve not had water to your lips in days. If you do that, you’ll most certainly need to pause in the middle of your speech to visit the bathroom. Either that or you’ll REALLY embarrass yourself.
4. Practice Public Mindfulness
If you are not fully present in your public performance, there is a good chance your eyes will wander or that your facial reactions will be a split-second delayed. Since the human mind can read facial expressions in as little as seventeen milliseconds, your audience will likely notice even the tiniest delays in your reactions.
Presence is a learnable skill. You can increase it with practice and patience. And being mindful of your audience means simply having a moment-to-moment awareness of what’s happening. Mindfulness also sets a pace at which the words flow from you. This prevents you from speaking too fast and getting lost in your message.
5. Make Your Speech A Conversation
If you can easily talk about your subject to a friend for many hours, and discuss confidently about it, then your message has a natural flow. If, however, you feel the need to deliver your message by a formulated structure, you risk making errors live.
Instead, you should treat your speech more like a conversation, as if you were talking to a friend or family member. This will also lower the intensity of your performance, giving you a more natural flow. Your audience will feel more relaxed, if you feel more relaxed.
To be considered a powerful speaker, you must be able to affect the people to whom you are speaking. We look for clues of power in someone’s appearance, in others reactions to this person, and most of all, in the persons body language.
Our reaction to power and warmth is deeply wired. We react to these qualities more than we do to intelligence and kindness, as our ancestors survived by having a strong reaction to those who displayed power and warmth in critical moments.Through the combination of warmth and power, you will be able to play powerfully on other peoples instincts
Warmth tells us whether or not people care, and are willing to impact the world in a positive way. Warmth is assessed through body language and behaviour. Power can be expressed through clothing, and having a confident posture. Posture leads to assume the person has something to be confident about. In essence, people will accept whatever you project.
7. Accept Feelings Of Negativity And Discomfort
Feeling internal discomfort and negativity is a natural part of life. Everyone experiences it. When it comes to public speaking, these feelings often arise without warning and can hinder our performance if we dwell on them.
We all feel the whole spectrum of emotions, no matter how good we think we are at public speaking. But somehow, we’ve gotten into the habit of viewing our physical or mental discomfort as a sign of something gone wrong.
When you experience unwanted feelings of negativity and discomfort, it is good to remind yourself that you are not alone, and that your favourite public speakers feel the same as you before making their speech. Rather than seeing negativity as one big emotion felt by one person, instead, see it as community of people struggling with it – a burden shared by many.
8: Stop Imitating Your Favorite Speakers
Because we have deep admiration for great public speakers, we sometimes wish we could be more like them. We can quite happily spend time viewing their public performances, learning to imitate their movements, tonality and words.
Excellent speakers have an authenticity about them that cannot be imitated. Their words, movements and tonality represent who they are at the core. If we try to imitate someone else, we lose ourselves in the process. We spend more time trying to be like them at the risk of our own personal development.