Confident and Effective Public Speaking
One of the great skill for a person to possess is public speaking. In general, speaking is the skill of expressing self thought. It is a means of communication. So it is really important to be able to speak up our mind in front of a big audience. Some of the following point helps to be an effective speaker.
Change the mindset
Talking with people 1:1 is generally an easier task, because it is mostly interactive. But while talking to an wide audience, we think that we are presenting ourself and the audience have expectation from us. With expectation we get more pressure. A general technique to low down the stress is to think it as a conversation rather than a presentation. This helps us to lower the pressure of presentation.
Know your topic
To be able to present confidently and effectively you should have a knowledge of what you are presenting. Research about the topic you are presenting and write down the raw notes of whatever you find about it.
Once you have all the information about the topic you are presenting, go ahead and arrange the information. Start with introduction, body and finally conclusion. In body have some main point to cover the topic and 2 sub point to support the main points.
The transition between main points or sub points should be easily known by the audience. If it was writing we could add bold, headings, paragraph, comma to represent the transition. In speaking there should a clear information for audience to know the transition. This can be done by moving yourself from one place to another, using slides, hand note transition, pause etc.
How many times it has been case that you had thought to talk about something and you completely forget to mention it. It is really important to memorise the points you want to cover. If you have a slide presentation you can use it to memorise what you want to talk. You can also make paper notes about the main topics you want to cover. Arrange the notes in a well defined structure so that you can follow the notes to know what you will be talking about next.
Avoid Filler words; pause
There are times when we get stuck while speaking. In these case we tend to use filler words like hmm, aaa, like, so. Instead of using these filler words use pause whenever you are stuck. It is ok to pause and think, this make you look more confident. This also gives audience engagement and attention.
Using pause and change your tone according to the point you are talking about.
It is really important to practise your speech before you present it in front of the audience. This gives you a sense of what your transitions will look like. What are the points you are covering. Record yourself and listen to yourself. This will help you know where you are missing.
Although you have all planned structure about what you are presenting, being able to respond dynamically according to the audience engagement is important. To grab audience attention observe the location environment and the audience and try to add colours to the speech. Responding dynamically comes with practise.
How you are presenting depends on what is your topic, what is the audience you are presenting, where the location is. According to these factor you should have your style. You might need to be formal for some topics and can be casual for some. Make sure you look confident. Dress well, make eye contact and interact with audience.
Go for a walk or do some light exercise an hour before you have the presentation. This will help you get down your stress hormones and make you feel more confident and energetic. So that you will be able to fully concentrate while you are presenting.
Public speaking is one of the skill that needs a lot of practise, So follow these steps and keep practising. You will surely fail in the first few attempts, don’t backup and keep learning from you mistakes. Take any opportunity to speak in front of people and level up your skill with practise.