Public speaking is one of our greatest fears. Are we going to mix up our words, why are my hands shaking? That lump in my throat is pretty big.
If you find it difficult to stand up in front of a crowd and take their imaginations by storm with a mesmerising speech, don’t worry you are far from alone.
However, help is on the way for even the most anxious people. In this article, we’re going to discuss how you can become a new and improved public speaker with the very best advice from TED experts and TEDx Doncaster.
So without further ado, lets begin.
Public Speaking Success Comes From Knowing Your Audience
This does not mean that you need to have a personal rapport with everyone in the room, it does in fact mean that you should know some key factors about the audience. If you know who they are, what they want and what they need to know then you will be able to focus on your speech more effectively, hone in on relevant details and deliver the information people want to hear.
Having a fundamental understanding of your audience allows you to determine which fragments of content appeal to the audience. For example, do you need to be data focused or should you focus on sharing inspirational stories?
This might mean you have room to introduce props to your speech, whether that be a few slides to back up data or some weird and wacky toys to accompany your tales of adventure. Just make sure that it holds relevance.
Good Public Speaking Means Practice, Practice and Practice Some More
Grab a hold of your hairbrush and go and stand in front of the mirror, don’t leave until you’ve got your lines ingrained into your mind. Practicing in advance is one of the most important steps in giving a great presentation or speech, even the head of TED says so.
Simply transferring the words from inside your head to our in the open is enough to build your confidence, by the time it comes to performing on stage the words will roll off your tongue.
It also helps if you have someone to practise in front of, this can help break down that initial fear of performance anxiety so grab your mum, your brother, a friend or a complete stranger and drown them with words.
Practicing your speech slowly is another technique used by public speakers – this will teach you how to control the tempo of your speech as well as practicing with and without your notes so that when the time comes, you have the ability to gaze into the audience and occasionally make eye contact with the audience.
Prepare For a Successful Demonstration
Once you feel comfortable with the content in your speech, you’ll need to prepare yourself and the audience for the moment of truth.
Many public speakers advise taking a glass of water out with you on stage. Stage fright can take away your ability to even breath and having a sip of water can help you regain focus on the task at hand.
It is advised that you take some notes to accompany your speech, this will help you keep on track. A trick of the trade is to use a font that is big enough to read while holding the paper away from your face – the last thing your audience wants to see if you bury your head into a page of notes, it takes away from the authenticity of a speech.
Give your audience the chance to digest your speech by concentrating on speaking slowly. You rarely hear any complaints about speakers proceeding to slowly, on the other hand, speakers who rush through their speech seem to leave their guests feeling dissatisfied.
Another pro tip, ask your friends and family to coordinate their seating arrangements so that you can notice them during the presentation. Seeing a smile from a loved one can be enough to reassure you that you’re doing great.
If all else fails, just picture everyone naked.