11 Tips to Be a Better Public
Sooner or later, everyone has to do it. Still, speaking in
front of an audience is regularly ranked against the greatest
fears plaguing mankind. For many, it's right up there with
sharks, spiders, heights and being attacked by a vicious dog.
Public speaking is simply not something that most people look
Public speaking is a skill -- one that takes practice
and perseverance to master.
Public speaking's bad reputation stems from most people's
of looking foolish in front of others. What if they don't
like what you have to say? What if you forget your thoughts,
offend somebody or, worse, bore them? This fear can be greatly
relieved, however, simply by learning a few tricks of the
trade. When you are empowered with the insider tips to give
a great speech in front of any audience, your fears may just
Even for those who adore public speaking (after all, you
get to share your opinions with a captive audience), honing
up on the following tips can add some pizzazz to your speaking
style so that every speech truly impacts the audience.
And now, without further ado, here are the 11 top ways to
become a better public speaker.
Know your audience. Tailor your message directly to
this group, then greet some of the audience members as
they arrive so you feel like you're speaking to friends.
Know your material. In general, you should only give
a speech about something you know very well. Make sure
you know even more about the topic than you intend to
include in the speech.
Practice makes perfect. You should practice every speech,
out loud, and including any visual aids you plan to use,
- Take a breath. Pauses can lend just the right emphasis
to an important point, so be sure to include them when appropriate.
Remember to use body language, including your facial
expressions, eye contact, posture, and hand gestures,
to engage your audience and convey your confidence.
Use body language to your advantage. Your posture, eye
contact, hand gestures and facial expressions speak volumes.
Here are some tips
to use this non-verbal form of communication.
Visualize a successful speech. Picture yourself wowing
the audience with your charisma,
poise and wit. It will help to ease your nerves.
Do not apologize. If you stumble on your words, appear
nervous or mix up a part of your speech, don't say anything
about it. The audience will probably not notice, unless
you bring it up.
The audience is your friend. It's easy to think of the
audience as the big, bad wolf. But in reality, they want
your speech to be a success.
Figure out your take-home message. What is it that you
want the audience to leave with? How would you want them
to sum up your speech if they were to describe it to someone
else? This is your take-home message. Use it to build
your entire speech.
Start with a bang. The first few minutes of your speech
will set the tone for your entire presentation, so use
them to your advantage. Try a joke, a shocking statistic,
an inspiring quote or a news headline that will get the
audience's attention and peak their curiosity.
Get personal. When appropriate, share your personal
stories, experiences and thoughts. This keeps your speech
unique while sharing your motivations and enthusiasm with
the audience. Also, speak to the audience as you would
a friend. It's generally not appropriate to keep things
overly formal or technical.
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