Public speaking is a key fundamental for anyone to master. People often practice public speaking in front of a classroom, team members or managers. There are some individuals who succeed at public speaking naturally, while others find themselves struggling.
Do not be surprised if you are asked to stand up in front of the class, give a motivational speech to your team or even present to your managers to get that promotion. Public speaking is inevitable no matter where you are in life. So, what can you do to help yourself before stepping up to the opportunity?
Public Speaking Tips:
- Practice, practice, practice: Where do you feel most comfortable practicing; in the shower, in front of the mirror or speaking to a friend? If you can practice where you will be presenting at that is wonderful. Work on removing words such as “um” and “like”. If you are nervous before speaking, try taking a few deep breaths before presenting.
- Do not read your speech directly from notecards or PowerPoint: Keep eye contact with your audience so they feel as if you are talking to them one-on-one. Yes, you can use notes to stay on track, but do not read directly off from them. When speaking, remember to slow down, articulate your words and show passion.
- Know your audience, understand and challenge them: Find topics that interest your audience and decide what type of presentation would be best to give. Would a PowerPoint be best, an interactive discussion or just simply speaking?
- Be honest and genuine: You want to connect with your audience on a personal level and have them gain a new respect for you after your presentation. With that being said, remember that what you say will most likely end up somewhere on social media. As cliché as “Practice what you preach” sounds, there is a truth to it.
- Posture is important: Stand up straight while presenting. Capture your audience’s attention and let them know what you are saying is important. If needed, you can lean on the podium when saying something light-hearted, but for the most part, remember to have good posture. Also, try to use body language that matches your tone.
- Make good use of social media: Since most people are “plugged in”, put a Twitter handle, Facebook or YouTube icon at the bottom of your slides. Consider adding a hashtag so people can tweet during your speech. If you choose to use social media, remember that the icons should be small and not too distracting.
- Always thank your audience when you are done: Remember to thank the audience for their time and coming to your presentation. Once you thank them, remember to ask if there are any questions and let them know how to contact you if they would like to reach out to you in the future.