Public Speaking - Tips and Tricks! (Part 1/3)

Public speaking is something we can't avoid... Whether it happens at school, uni, in your workplace or at your daughter's wedding, your going to have to speak to an audience at one point. If your a shy person, this will be infinitely more difficult to do than someone who is extremely confident. These tips and tricks can help you to catch and control those butterflies and deliver a great speech!

Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan
The old saying is still true - fail to plan then plan to fail... The key to delivering a successful speech is to know your material, write about what interests you and speak about something you are passionate about - for some it's much easier to talk about cars then finance. Always plan out what is appropriate for your audience, if it's something with a lot of data or numbers - then it may be more appropriate to include a variety of print outs whereas a meeting about cars could have a slide show on a projector with a variety of cars you will talk about. Sometimes you don't get to choose what you get to talk about and so you just have to find your own personal way to discuss the topic that has a personal touch, something that makes it unique.

Learn Your Material
You will find it amazingly easier to deliver a speech that you know what your talking about and that you have rehearsed, rather then one that you finished writing and printing the night before. Preparation is essentially the key to doing well in a speech and you will find that over preparing will never hurt.

The Delivery
Okay, so your standing in front of a crowd and it doesn't matter how big that crowd is, you may be feeling like your heart is beating at 150 miles an hour. Everything is moving so fast, and you hear your name called to start your speech. You feel queasy inside and as you open your mouth to say a word, you feel no moisture - just a dry mouth. This is what you will feel like most likely and don't worry, there are many other people who feel the exact same way when delivering a speech. This is how you may feel at the beginning but when you finish speaking you will feel completely different if you manage to keep the audience interested and maintain in control of yourself.

Do's and Do Not's

Do: Relax
Before you start, take a deep breath and just build yourself up. My favorite quote to say when I am in that position is to say, 'I can achieve whatever I believe'. Keep taking deep breaths whenever you need to, your audience will be thankful that you are pacing every now and then - it also gives them a chance to soak in the information. If you have the option, you can take a sip of water every now and then as a breather break.

Don't: Apologize for a Mistake

Don't apologize for a mistake. People most likely didn't notice it and stopping and saying, 'I'm sorry - that wasn't meant to be there' is more likely going to do more harm then good. Just continue on like you didn't even notice you made a mistake, it's the same concept when performing in a dance competition or a music recital - don't stop if you mess up - just continue and show you have the ability to adapt to any situation.

Do: Enthusiasm

Nobody likes a speech without enthusiasm and you will often find it may be difficult to speak up and project your voice but it will involve your audience and be worth it in the end.

Don't: Worry about Blushing/Embarrassment
Everyone hates speaking in a crowd (well mostly everyone - including me) and naturally some people will blush or get 'red faced'. The more you worry about it, the more people will take notice to it. If you focus your energy on engaging your listeners and forget about the blushing then it will fade as soon as it arrived and less people will care about it because you obviously don't seem to.

The Aftermath
You did it! You finished your speech and guess what? Your still alive and I am sure you even got a hand of applause when you finished. Feels good doesn't it? Well, you put in the hard work and survived - take a deep breath and acknowledge any complements with a quick thanks.

Quick Note: I have heard a tactic to try imagining the audience in their underwear. Personally I find this to be a crappy tactic because it doesn't help me focus (it makes me laugh or see the audience in a weird perspective) and ultimately degrades the presentation. If it works for you, then go right ahead but it doesn't help as much as the above tips and tricks.

Okay! :) That's it for part 1 in the series, in a couple days you will see my experience and testimonial about my own public speech I have to deliver and you can see what I went through. Right now, I am a little nervous but I should be okay. If I don't write about it, presume I died of fear. >.>

Part 1/3 - Public Speaking Mini-Series

Written by Christopher Newman


Eric June 12, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

Good tips! Here's another FYI.

In my recently published Christmas novel, the main character, Ian, has to undergo some management training. However, he almost backs out when he discovers that public speaking is part of the deal!

He sticks with it, though and soon learns an interesting technique from one of his internet searches. It's all about how to mingle and network with people before an event. He tries some of the tips by helping his new friend, Elise, with some administrative functions prior to the speech class. It gives him an opportunity to chat with some of the other class members. He discovers that they have the same fears he does. It makes him feel a lot better. And, in the process of going around the room, he feels like a host. It's a real confidence builder!

This technique might not always be available to a speaker but when it is, go for it!

All the best!
Eric Dana Hansen, Author of "IAN, CEO, North Pole"

Christopher Newman June 12, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

Wow sounds cool :)

Thanks for the tip ^_^

Karl Perera June 26, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

Like that story, very nice...your audience is human just like you are!

Everything Counts June 30, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

Public speaking is good way of boosting self-confidence and morale. Once we have done it we feel more confident about ourselves.

Christopher Newman June 30, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

Exactly, the more we get used to doing something the more it becomes a natural part of what we do, we don't have the anxiety as much.

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Self help and development enthusiast. My name is Chris and I live in Queensland, Australia. Hope I can help you out! :D

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