5 Ways to Take Your Public Speaking
To The Next Level
Regardless of the industry you’re in, strong public speaking skills are vital to utilize your platform in a meaningful way. For some, this command of language and presence comes naturally, but for others it takes a bit more practice. Whether you’re a veteran of public speaking, just starting out, or looking to improve your overall abilities, these five tips can help to strengthen your public speaking abilities and open the door for more opportunities.
1. Know Your Content
One of the biggest challenges public speakers face is overcoming the anxieties around saying the wrong thing in front of their peers and potential clients. A simple antidote for this is to know your content well. By being thoroughly prepared and knowing the content you’re covering inside and out, it can help establish confidence on the topic and thereby reduce anxiety. Another tip is to practice, practice, practice. Go over your notes, practice on a colleague, and review as much as you feel necessary.
2. Don’t Give Too Many Personal Asides
While incorporating personal experience can help make the speaker more relatable to the audience, try your best to keep them to a minimum. Adding too many personal anecdotes can not only be distracting but take away from the main point you are trying to deliver. Your audience is likely there to hear your expertise and insight, so be sure to deliver your points without adding too much personal “fluff.”
3. Stay Away From Rhetorical Questions
In some formats, rhetorical questions can work really well. But in most cases, your audience is prepared to participate very minimally and asking a question like, “Have you heard of X’s new product?” just eats up time, especially if you already planned to tell your audience about the new product regardless of their participation. Try instead to be direct, “I’m going to tell you about X’s amazing new product,” followed by a captivating brief about what it is. This in turn maintains the flow of your monologue while also keeping your audience’s attention.
4. Can You Repeat The Question?
While we’re on the topic of questions, if you’re planning to have an audience Q&A following your presentation, it always helps to repeat the asker’s question before replying with your answer. This helps for anyone who may not have heard it initially and ensures that your audience members are reaping the full informational benefits of the event.
5. Have Fun
There’s a quote by Oscar Wilde that states, “Life is too important to take seriously.” If you’re rigid, stressed and anxious while you’re speaking, your audience members will sense that. It’s not that serious. Relax, loosen up and enjoy yourself. The best presentations are the ones where the speaker is genuinely excited about the content and its delivery. It’s okay to make mistakes, get out there, and give it your all and your audience will be perceptive of that. And in the long run, it is that which makes all the difference.