“Much speech is one thing. Well-timed speech is another.”
Finding the courage to speak before an audience is no easy feat.
Captivating your audience may not come easily to some of you. Although it can take a while to master this craft, there are ways to improve your presentation skills.
You have a handle on basic aspects including research, preparation and practice.
What are the other areas you can work on?
I’ve poached some advice from expert speakers, TED presenters, author coaches and my own knowledge that you’ll find useful for your next speaking event.
Say what you Mean
Be clear about your thoughts and articulate them well. If you have a certain viewpoint, be assertive about it. Find enough reasons to validate it without disregarding other views.
Let your actions match your words and vice versa.
You don’t have to put on a chatty avatar, though it never hurts to be friendly. When it comes to speeches, the audience responds positively to a speaker’s personal illustrations or experiences.
Use this to your advantage.
State the Obvious
You know the topic inside out and some things seem obvious. Your audience, on the other hand, may not make the connection.
As a speaker, it’s your job to connect the dots for them. Clear their doubts and repeat the point, if necessary.
Adapt your Content
One size does not fit all in everyday life. This applies to your speeches as well. Modify your content for different audiences.
Add humor, statistics or insight that is specifically about the listeners in the room. People like being addressed or mentioned, and they’re more willing to give you – the outsider – a chance.
The key to a successful speech or presentation is entertaining your audience. Sure, they want to learn something, but teaching doesn’t have to be boring.
Chase away their boredom by interspersing anecdotes, data stories, and striking conclusions into your speech. Find and forge unique connections between unrelated themes, or come with learning points within narratives.
keep negativity away
Often, you don’t feel like an expert. You secretly believe the audience will reject your ideas and ignore your words. These negative beliefs can hamper your growth as a speaker.
Replace this idea with a new, positive one.
You have something important, unique, interesting to share and your audience is eager to learn.
Did you find these speech suggestions helpful? Do you have pointers you’d like to share?
Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll be providing more speech tips.