With the new year upon us, many business leaders are preparing their presentations for some of the top conferences. And while many of the speakers are veterans at talking in front of large groups of people, others are still honing their skills.
An audience can tell when a speaker is ill prepared, nervous, and lacks confidence in his public speaking abilities. Speaking successfully in public is a talent that can be developed over time with practice and good planning.
Using some proven strategies, even a novice can give an interesting, engaging, and informative speech in public. This article provides several useful tips and techniques that can help you deliver a great speech.
Preparing Well for a Speech – Do the Research
There’s nothing worse than standing up in front of an audience and forgetting what needs to be said. This happens most often when the speaker has not prepared well enough, and has not practiced their speech.
According to Keynote Speakers, preparing means starting early, and researching every possible angle of a topic. It is better to have too much information than too little. Some of it can be edited and cut out later when crafting the speech.
Speech Development – Introduction and Conclusion
How a speaker is introduced to an audience is going to be critical for the success of any event. “There are several reasons why the introduction is the most important part of any speech” says Alex Miller, the editor at Motivational Speaker. The speaker is introducing himself to the audience, making the first impression, and setting the tone for the entire speech.
Begin with an interesting fact, a tasteful joke, entertaining quote, or something that will engage the attention of the audience. It is also important to say something that will give the audience a reason to listen.
When it comes to structuring your speech, the conclusion of any speech is also something that needs planning. It is very important to cover the topic thoroughly, but to keep in mind the length of a speech. If it is too long, the audience may drift and lose interest. The best thing to do is to end slightly early, rather than late. Leave people wanting more, not less.
Practice Public Speaking in Front of the Mirror
Practice can make a speech so much better and more polished. That said, once the speech is written, practicing in front of a mirror will help a speaker to see what he will look like to the audience. Don’t be shy. It is also important to practice with the appropriate attire and consider it a dress rehearsal. Also, right before the speech, do a mirror check to insure everything (clothes, hair, etc.) is in place.
A speaker may also want to practice in front of a trusted friend or family member and get feedback as well as learn how to answer questions effectively.
Body Stance, Eye Contact, and Voice Inflection
Another good reason to practice in front of a mirror is to check one’s body stance, and practice eye contact. Making eye contact with members of the audience is a way to engage them. Another way, if possible, is to stand straight and tall. Don’t slouch because this will project a lack of confidence.
Voice inflection should constantly be changing in a speech, too. When someone is speaking in a monotonous tone it will be hard for even the most interested members of an audience to stay awake and pay attention. Lowering the voice will force people to sit up and listen carefully. Raising the voice will also grab the attention of those that seem to have lost focus.
Public speaking may be something that is done frequently, or only occasionally in a person’s job or at school. Whichever the case may be, the speaker will want to be prepared, confident, and polished. Public speaking does not have to be daunting. With the above public speaking tips and strategies, speeches in public can be well done and well received.