Hello Greatness Partner, welcome to DanielAjumobi.com – the place where people in pursuit of success come to get actionable insights. So, I have been running a series on better communication for few days now because it’s essential to our daily living and the need to get better at it is so vital. You can see related links below to previous articles. Today, let’s touch down on becoming a better public speaker.
Public speaking is as good as murder on the checklist of some persons never-to-do- list. Some people seem to glow when they’re given a microphone and are asked to offer a toast or a speech, while others folks would much rather sprint as fast as possible in the opposite direction. Speaking ahead of an outsized crowd isn’t a natural activity for anyone; to do better at it, you would have to, prepare and practice. When your heart starts pounding, you’re sweating, your hands are shaking, your knees are freezing, and you feel like you’re going to pass out – that’s the way the majority feels always.
The important lesson here is nervousness is really perfectly normal. Note that.
Your personality in fact has something to do with how you approach speaking ahead of other folks – whether that’s a crowd of thousands or a boardroom filled with your bosses and colleagues. People who are more introverted tend to keep a lot of ideas in their heads – they have an exciting inner life which most times they find hard to express to others talk less of a crowd unlike those who are extroverted. Engaging in a spirited conversation or giving a presentation energizes people who are extroverted, rather than being overwhelming.
Regardless, public speaking is not just about standing in front of the crowd but it still takes skill and practice to speak effectively in a way that engages your audience. It is a skill and not a talent. Therefore, no one will give you a checklist that would help you become a public speaker overnight but you can only get a few principles which if you practice overtime will be of great help. Here’s three major tips and tricks you should give more attention to as a (aspiring) public speaker.
BE OKAY WITH BEING NERVOUS
Even the best of public speakers in the world today are nervous everytime or were once nervous. The extroverts amongst us still get the jitters from time to time. Feeling shy and nervous are feelings, not personality traits so it does not determine how well of a public speaker you are but you just have to identify with it and accept it. Just imagine realizing that your boyfriend or girlfriend of years of relationship doesn’t love you, (sigh) regardless of the pain, you’d have to accept it and move on. Same also applies to the fact that we are going to be anxious in front of the crowd but we have to accept it and move on with the presentation, speech etc. And we all face such feelings when we find ourselves in situations that make us uncomfortable.
Feeling shy and nervous are only mere feelings which when well controlled will not make us or break us – they only pose as hindrances, they are not personality traits. The trick is understanding that nervousness is normal and you shouldn’t let them stop you from speaking confidently. It’s a natural part of the public speaking process that you will master with time, if you keep practicing.
PUT YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
If need be, conduct a survey to have an idea of the kind of persons you’d be expected to talk to, get the theme if there is one and write the speech with your expected audience in a mind in such a way that they will be able to relate better. If you’d be talking to a team of doctors and you keep using engineering terms, it’ll be hard for the team of doctors to understand so who are your audience? You have to give yourself to your audience. The number of seconds you spend trying to be self-conscious is how long you spent not paying attention to your audience. A good speaker is like a mother who always leans forward to offer her baby just what he wants.
A good speech is about communicating your message to your audience. It’s not about you.
PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE
Plan ahead. Take the time to figure out the best way to tailor your message to your audience. What approach will keep your listeners attention and answer their questions? Think of a strong introduction that will grab their attention. And craft a thoughtful conclusion so the audience leaves remembering what the key points you want them to take away.
Preparing for fewer formal conversations – like a banquet with new neighbors, a networking event or a gathering at work — is certainly different from preparing for a formal speech, or a presentation with the C.E.Os. But planning ahead offers all the help you will need.
If possible, outline what you plan to say rather than writing out your speech and reading it word-for-word. It makes you look much natural, competent and keeps your posture, movements and eye contact well synchronized.
Like every other skill, mastering public speaking is dependent on constant practice.. Use your mirror, then move up to your friends and family, make a video of yourself while practicing your speech or presentation out loud ahead of time in order to get comfortable with the words you’re saying and the way they sound coming out of your mouth. If you practice using this routine before a presentation then I assure you that you will have a good performance.
There’s usually no quick fix, no short cut – just practice.
As my custom is, I enjoy reading back from you. So, please kindly share in the comment session below any other tips not stated above but can be of help. Drop your opinion and share your experience as related with the topic of discussion.
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