You must’ve come across that one person who just seems to have it all once he gets onto the dais – content, charisma, humour, and the undivided attention of the audience. Have you often wondered what makes them so? While some are able to handle the stage with ease, it is definitely not easy. Even the most knowledgeable and bold person has to put in weeks and sometimes even months of effort to nail that perfect speech.
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Time, practice, and patience are three of the most essential elements required to witness an improvement in your ability to communicate and gain the rapturous attention of your audience. Here are a few public speaking tips that are sure to help you gain brownie points for your next presentation:
Tell genuine stories
To develop a lasting connection between you and your audience, tell a genuine story laced with emotion and anecdotes. This helps to build trust as well. The more personal it is, the better. A narrative always has the power to connect instantly with the audience and make them agree with your point of view.
Share something unique
Share something that you feel hasn’t been told before. Giving your audience that extra piece of information will make them look up in wonder and think, “Oh! I never thought about that before.” The point is that they have come to listen to you and their takeaways should be worth their time.
Your audience can easily sense passion and enthusiasm. Speak about something you are very passionate about. Your enthusiasm will become contagious. This is one way to make your audience like what you speak about.
Finish before time
Always finish a little before the allotted time. This gives you some buffer time to handle any unexpected turns that are likely to come up. Also, it gives you time for questions audience may ask.
It wouldn’t be a good thing to prolong your speech. Time is precious, respect that and end early.
When you get anxious, you tend to increase the pace at which you speak. Taking deep breaths, pausing wherever necessary, and waiting for the audience to take in what you say shows maturity and clarity of thought.
Practice, practice, and practice
Malcolm Gladwell said that we need 10,000 hours of practice in order to become a world-class performer. A presentation or a speech is also a performance and you should rehearse for it. Practise facing a mirror as many times as possible. Watching yourself perform will make your delivery conversational and original. This is also a way of overcoming anxiety.
A good speech is never perfect, and no one expects you to be perfect. But you can come close by preparing. Once the audience gives you a thumping applause or a standing ovation, all your time and effort will seem worth it.