Public speaking is a learned skill. These tips for success are simple and easy to follow. For many people the thought of speaking in front of others is a daunting concept. Below you'll find my top public speaking tips for succeeding in front of your next audience!
1. Be preparedEvery speaker's best asset in front of an audience is their preparation. You should aim to have your content memorised; palm cards or notes can sometimes be a distraction. For those who are overwhelmed in front of an audience, palm cards can be an escape mechanism which detracts from your credibility.
In memorising your content, you are innately prepared for ANYTHING. There is no guarantee that everything will run smoothly during your public address with potential technology issues, external distractions or even possible evacuations to consider! Despite the barrage of potential setbacks, your preparation is key to successful public speaking address.
2. Know your audienceResearching your audience is crucial before you address them in a speech. If they are colleagues or peers, you have an advantage. Likewise, if you're a teacher and you're addressing a student body, you have a relationship with your audience already.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What's my relationship with the audience?
- What do I want my listeners to take away from my speech?
By answering these questions as specifically as possible you will be able to contextualise your speech. In realising the context of what you are saying you'll have a defined and focused perspective to address your audience through.
3. Speak with intentRegardless of the subject you need to sell the content of your speech. No one will listen to you if you are not passionate about what you're saying. If you can't connect with your content in a meaningful way, you may want to reconsider speaking about it in a public forum.
4. Engage your listenersIn the 21st century, it is widely accepted that our ability to maintain focus on a single task is dwindling. With so many distractions fighting for our attention, you must engage your audience and sustain their focus.
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"This philosophical thought proves relative in public speaking. If no one is engaged in what you're saying, are they listening to what you're saying?