If you have been contemplating speaking on the TEDx stage, then you are not alone. While some have assumed that public speaking is just for professional speakers, this is not true. Many professionals are now seeing the power that this can have for improving your career and getting more opportunities to connect with your peers.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you plan on delivering an effective speech:
- Research Audience Demographics
Before you go out and speak in front of an audience, it's important to have a deep understanding of who you are speaking to.
"By knowing the demographics and psycho-graphics of the audience, it is going to be much easier for you to craft your speech in a way that will connect with them and give them something meaningful" says Dan Smith of the website KeynoteSpeakers.info.
- Have a powerful story
When you are introduced to the audience before you speak, the MC is going to give the audience a little background story on you.
It's important that you take the time to write a short bio that is compelling and piques their curiosity so that the audience is attentive before your presentation.
"As a motivational speaker, I believe that my intro story is a crucial component to my speech because it primes the audience for what I am going to deliver" says John Rogan of the website MotivationalSpeakerz.com.
- Have Something to Say
The trouble with many speakers is that they go before an audience with their minds a blank. It is no wonder that nature, abhorring a vacuum, fills them with the nearest thing handy, which generally happens to be, "I wonder if I am doing this right! How does my hair look? I know I shall fail."
Their prophetic souls are sure to be right. It is not enough to be absorbed by your subject—to acquire self-confidence you must have something in which to be confident. If you go before an audience without any preparation, or previous knowledge of your subject, you ought to be self-conscious—you ought to be ashamed to steal the time of your audience.
- Practice and Be Mentally Prepared
Your inner game is going to be critical if you want to succeed as a speaker which means it is going to take a great deal of practice.
By practicing on a regular basis, not only are you going to be prepared to deliver the information correctly, but you will do it in a way where people receive you well because you did so with confidence.
Know what you are going to talk about, and, in general, how you are going to say it. Have the first few sentences worked out completely so that you may not be troubled in the beginning to find words.
- Exude Confidence
As soon as you walk out on that stage or get in front of the podium, the audience will be able to asses whether or not you are confident with yourself.
Keep in mind that half the of speech you are delivering is non-verbal so the audience is going to be watching your body language as much as they listen to your words.
Let your bearing be modestly confident, but most of all be modestly confident within. Over-confidence is bad, but to tolerate premonitions of failure is worse, for a bold man may win attention by his very bearing, while a rabbit-hearted coward invites disaster.
Humility is not the personal discount that we must offer in the presence of others—against this old interpretation there has been a most healthy modern reaction. True humility any man who thoroughly knows himself must feel; but it is not a humility that assumes a worm-like meekness; it is rather a strong, vibrant prayer for greater power for service—a prayer that Uriah Heep could never have uttered.
- Assume Mastery Over Your Audience
In public speech, as in electricity, there is a positive and a negative force. Either you or your audience are going to possess the positive factor. If you assume it you can almost invariably make it yours. If you assume the negative you are sure to be negative. Assuming a virtue or a vice vitalizes it. Summon all your power of self-direction, and remember that though your audience is infinitely more important than you, the truth is more important than both of you, because it is eternal. If your mind falters in its leadership the sword will drop from your hands.
Your assumption of being able to instruct or lead or inspire a multitude or even a small group of people may appall you as being colossal impudence—as indeed it may be; but having once essayed to speak, be courageous. BE courageous—it lies within you to be what you will. MAKE yourself be calm and confident.
Reflect that your audience will not hurt you. In facing your audience, pause a moment and look them over—a hundred chances to one they want you to succeed, for what man is so foolish as to spend his time, perhaps his money, in the hope that you will waste his investment by talking dully?
While speaking in public can be a bit overwhelming at first, like anything in life, with the right attitude and consistent practice, you too can deliver a great talk on TED.