According to Wikipedia, "Public speaking is the process or the act of performing a speech to a live audience. Public speaking is commonly understood as a formal, face-to-face speaking of a single person to a group of listeners ". Public speaking accomplishes the following purposes; to inform, to persuade, to instruct and to entertain.
Whether you are speaking in a team meeting or presenting in front of an audience, we all have to speak in public from time to time so it is imperative that we know some basic information that will help us speak better. Its important to note that strong speaking skills will enhance your career, education and relationships almost every aspect of your life. The basics are as follows;
Be prepared: Make your notes, so you don't miss out on vital points.
Understand your audience: Ensure that what you have prepared is in line with the expectations of your audience. It's important that you research about your audience and customise your content to suit them.
Make eye contact: it's easy to be tempted to look over the heads of your audience but don't do that, maintain eye contact and smile occasionally, carry them along.
Show some energy: Take charge of the moment and show some energy except you are giving an eulogy at a funeral.
Stand up straight: You can practice your posture in front of the mirror before speaking.
It's okay to feel nervous, you can practice in front of the mirror or gather people to listen to you before you give the speech.
Delivery: Speak slowly and deliberately, Pause between ideas to give the audience time to digest what you are saying, carefully articulate and pronounce your words and avoid filler sounds like "Um" and "ah."
Tell a Story: People love a good story. So, if you want to be a more effective speaker, tell a story. Storytelling is a great way to make your material more engaging and to relate to your audience. Make sure your story is relatable and relevant.
Focus On the Material, Not The Audience: Focus on delivering your material in the best way possible. Dont worry about audience reactions.
Using any of the above tips can help you communicate effective with your audience throughout the entire presentation, no matter how long it is.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section.