Public speaking is one of the number one stresses for people. From the best man at a wedding to that big PowerPoint presentation at work, public speaking in front of your peers can bring many a good man or woman out in cold sweats. But it doesn't have to. Public speaking is like any good skill, it can be taught and the more your speak in public the better you will become.
So, we here at CourseFeeder.com have come up with the top 5 tips to make you an amazing public speaker.
1. Prepare what you're going to say
Good stand-up comedians, perhaps the world's best public speakers, are brilliant at ad-libbing and communicating with their audience. However, don't be fooled. Even comedians that look like they make up their act on the spot in front of an audience write down their material and practice these lines time and again until they sound natural and relaxed. To make your presentation or speech seem polished and natural be prepared to practice in front of family members or friends.
2. Know your subject
Whatever you are talking about, make sure you know your subject matter inside out. That way, you will be able to think on your feet if you forget your line of thought.if you lose your place in your prepared speech you'll be able to think on your feet and talk your way out of a tight corner. Also, when public speaking at work you colleagues or boss may have some additional questions they like you to answer. Being able to call on subject knowledge is a great way to appear well-prepared and confident.
3. Prepare the room
Make sure that prior to a presentation that :
a. You have everything you need
b. You have tested your audio-visuals
c. You know the layout of the room you will be speaking to
d. You know your audience
All these factors can make for a great presentation or the worst piece of public speaking ever. There is nothing worse than a speaker not knowing how to change a PowerPoint slide or the PC failing in the middle of a talk. Or worse still a microphone failing in a presentation to hundreds, so that half the room can't hear what is being said. So, just like the speech itself, prepare what you will need and test it as much as possible.
4. Make eye contact
Typically, when you're public speaking, whether at a family event or at work no one wants to see you fail, and so making eye-contact with members of your audience is a great way to build rapport with people that you are addressing. Everyone knows public speaking can be nerve racking so making eye contact will get your audience to root for you and support you.
5. Maintain the interest of your audience
The hardest part of any presentation is making your audience sit up and listen. Here are a few tips on how best to interest your audience:
a. Don't overloading slides - they should be brief bullet points that summarise your main points
b. Use notes sparingly - reduce your notes to main talking points or words that will jog your memory but won't allow you to just 'read a script'.
c. Pepper your presentation with humour that is audience appropriate
d. Have well prepare and rehearsed anecdotes - These will help your audience connect with you on a human level
e. Have audio-visuals that highlight your points - photos, film clips, music will all make your presentation more memorable
For more ideas on how to improve your public speaking skills visit our presentation skills course channel.