Public speaking is one of the most common fears people face. Whether it’s giving a presentation at work, introducing yourself at a networking event, or sharing your ideas in front of an audience at an open mic night, public speaking can be intimidating. However, with preparation and practice, you can learn to deliver speeches that are clear and concise. Here are 10 public speaking tips:
1. Nail the Opening
- Know your audience.
- Be clear about the purpose of your speech.
- Introduce yourself and your topic.
- Start with a joke or story that relates to the content of your presentation, but make sure it’s appropriate for the age level and group you are speaking to.
2. Stay Focused on Your Audience
Remember that you are speaking to your audience, not at them. Staying focused on your audience will help you connect with them, which will make it easier for them to listen and respond appropriately.
When preparing your speech, consider who will be in attendance. If possible, meet with a few members of the group ahead of time to get an idea of what they’re hoping to learn from you and how they like to learn it. This step is especially important if this is a group with whom you haven’t worked before; by understanding their needs and interests early on in the process, you’ll be able to tailor both your presentation material and delivery style so that everyone feels engaged throughout the speech.
3. Know Your Stuff
Knowing your stuff is the most important part of delivering a great presentation. If you don’t know the subject matter, or how to talk about it, or who your audience is, you’re going to have trouble giving a good talk. You can’t just wing it and hope that everything will magically come together at the last minute. The best way to prepare for public speaking is to make sure that you know exactly what you’re talking about and why it’s important.
For example: If someone asked me what car I drive and I answered by saying “I have a car,” then they’d probably walk away thinking that was pretty dumb. But if instead I said “I drive an Audi A3,” then they would be impressed with my knowledge of cars! This goes back to knowing your stuff—it shows confidence in what you’re saying since everyone knows that Audi makes excellent cars!
4. Stay Organized
In order to keep your speech organized and coherent, you’ll need to have a clear structure. You can use notes to help you stay on track if you feel nervous about forgetting what to say next. If any questions get asked during the presentation, be prepared with an answer for each one. Finally, practice your speech before giving it in front of others so that everything flows smoothly when it’s time for the big day!
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice, practice, practice.
Practice your speech in front of family, friends, and colleagues. You can also practice your speech in front of a mirror or with a video recorder. This way you can see yourself as others will see you and adjust accordingly.
Practice using a timer to make sure that each section of your talk is about the right length and that there are no awkward pauses or filler words (like “um”).
When practicing with an audience, always ask for feedback on what worked well for them and what could be improved upon—and remember to take their advice!
6. Vary Your Volume and Pace
A good public speaker will vary their volume, pace, and tone throughout their speech. If you are speaking too quietly, people in the back of the room may miss what you’re saying. Speaking too loudly is also a problem: it can be distracting to other people in your audience who are trying to listen closely.
A good way to avoid this problem is by practicing out loud until you find a comfortable volume level. You should also try varying your pace throughout the speech—speeding up when you need extra emphasis (e.g., during key points), but also pausing occasionally so listeners have time to reflect on what was said before moving on with new information about another topic.
7. Make Eye Contact with the Audience
Making eye contact with the audience is a great way to show that you are talking to them, not at them. Don’t look at your notes or speaker. This will make it seem like you don’t know what you are doing. Also, avoid looking at the screen during slides or videos unless they are critical for understanding your message – in which case make sure it is clearly visible from anywhere in the room. It can also be helpful to try practicing with someone whose job it is to point out where people were looking so that you can adjust accordingly.
Finally, please do not bring any phones into the room if possible!
8. Vary Your Tone and Facial Expressions
Try to vary your tone and facial expressions. One of the most important things you can do is to use your voice to show emotion. For example, if you are talking about something that is sad or boring, don’t use an upbeat tone—instead, keep it even and calm.
When speaking in a monotone (without changing the pitch), it might be easier for your audience to take in what they’re hearing because they won’t have anything else distracting them from your speech. However, if you want people listening more closely so they’ll remember what was said later on when asked questions about the topic at hand, then try varying how loud or soft each sentence sounds depending on its importance or meaning behind each one so there isn’t any confusion about what has been said before moving forward into other areas related but not necessarily connected directly together yet.”
9. Be Yourself
- That’s right, be yourself! If you’re not funny, don’t try to be. If you’re not serious, don’t try to be. And if you’re not dramatic and big on the theatrics of public speaking then that’s okay too! Just remember: it’s okay to be who you are when speaking publicly and let your personality shine through.
10. Know When to Stop!
How do you know when to stop?
- Know your audience. If you have a large amount of time to speak, it’s helpful to know how much of your speech will be directed toward the introverts at the back table and how much will be directed toward the extroverts in the front row. This can help you tailor your message accordingly.
- Use a timer or watch with an alarm. When it goes off, that means it’s time for wrap-up mode!
These 10 tips will help you become a more persuasive speaker.
These 10 tips will help you become a more persuasive speaker:
- Prepare (do your research)
- Know your audience and their needs/wants
- Develop the right mindset for the situation (a positive one)
- Speak clearly and confidently, and pause when necessary to allow for questions or answers from your audience (don’t ramble on or rush through important points)
- Use visual aids like charts or slides that reinforce your message
As we’ve seen, public speaking can be a tricky thing. It takes a lot of energy and preparation, but the payoff is worth it! By following these 10 tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming the best speaker you can be.