Guide to Public Speaking

My journey of public speaking started when I was 14. It all started when I went for an inter-school debate competition. Although it was not one of the best experiences of my life because fumbling and not able to speak properly in front of 200 people for the first time is not an experience for which one would easily volunteer.

But I knew that being a good speaker and communicator would take me to the next level.

So, while a picture may be worth thousand words, without speech, the picture is of no use. After all the most effective way to communicate is through speech. It’s a skill worth mastering because it is the sole skill which can help you to inform, persuade and direct and give you ability to stand out from the rest.

The way I see it, your speech can push you to the rock bottom or it can help you realise you highest potential and touch the sky.

Being that said, here are few tips which would definitely help you become a better speaker:

DON’T TRY TO BE SOMEONE/SOMETHING:

When you try to be something or act like someone most of energy is wasted and is a huge turn off for your audience. So when you are trying to speak or explain a concept, get completely immersed into what you are trying to put across to the audience.

ESTABLISH YOURSELF:

When you deliver a speech, speaking for hours and hours is definitely not the key to success. Instead, how you speak is more important than what you speak. Give a kick start to your speeches by something creative like making a good entrance, sharing a personal experience, anecdotes, quotes etc. The importance of humour shall not be ignored. It does not let the audience go off track. What this does is sets the tone for the rest of your speech and lets the audience know that you are here to do business and not just speaking for fun or speaking for the sake of it. This could be done more times during the speech if you fell that the audience is getting bored. This practice definitely helps you to come across as good speaker.

RELAX:

To calm your nerves before a big speech or presentation is critical for a successful delivery. Before you speak, realise that despite all your efforts, whether people will like you or not is not under your control. So stop worrying about whether your content is good enough or not or whether the audience will like your voice, expression etc. and start concentrating on giving the best performance you can by being the best version of yourself.

BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITIES

:A good speaker is the one who has firm belief in himself that he will deliver an excellent speech before he does that. To make the audience believe in your vision, you yourself have to first do that. True power comes not when you conquer others but yourself. Ignore all the naysayers and constantly affirm yourself that you are the best. Ditch the negative self-talk, you are stronger and capable than you think.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE……AND THEN SOME MORE:

You cannot expect to deliver an error free speech if you don’t practice effectively. PERIOD.

FIND YOUR CADENCE:

A speaker can be classified broadly into two categories — Cool and analytical or Hot and passionate. Although none of the categories of speakers are wrong but one should always try to maintain a balance. Think of yourself a rubber band, and keep on stretching from both sides always to operate on that “sweet spot” — A perfect mix of both categories. Identifying yourself as one of the above types is necessary to be self-aware and speaking effectively. Keep stretching yourself to find your cadence because being on the extremes is a fool proof strategy to miss out on opportunities.

So get out there and hone your public speaking skills! NO EXCUSES!