Collections of Dilip Prakash

Public Speaking Tips

Posted on: February 1, 2008

Ensure your speech will be captivating to your audience as well as worth their time and attention. Videotape your presentation and analyze it. Emphasize your strong points during your presentation.

Be solemn if your topic is serious. Present the desired image to your audience. Appear relaxed, even if you feel nervous. Establish rapport with your audience. If a microphone is available, adjust and adapt your voice accordingly.

Master the use of presentation software such as PowerPoint well before your presentation. Persuade your audience effectively. Speak loudly and clearly. Sound confident. Maintain sincere eye contact with your audience. If what you have prepared is obviously not getting across to your audience, change your strategy mid-stream if you are well prepared to do so. Allow yourself and your audience a little time to reflect and think. Keep audience interested throughout your entire presentation. Remember that an interesting speech makes time fly, but a boring speech is always too long to endure even if the presentation time is the same.

Check out the location ahead of time to ensure seating arrangements for audience, whiteboard, blackboard, lighting, location of projection screen, sound system, etc. are suitable for your presentation.

Tell audience ahead of time that you will be giving out an outline of your presentation so that they will not waste time taking unnecessary notes during your presentation.

Here are just a few hints, public speaking tips and techniques to help you develop your skills and become far more effective as a public speaker.

  • Mistakes
    Mistakes are all right.
    Recovering from mistakes makes you appear more human.
    Good recovery puts your audience at ease – they identify with you more.
  • How to use the public speaking environment
    Try not to get stuck in one place.
    Use all the space that’s available to you.
    Move around.
    One way to do this is to leave your notes in one place and move to another.
    If your space is confined (say a meeting room or even presenting at a table) use stronger body language to convey your message.
  • Tell stories
    Stories make you a real person not just a deliverer of information.
    Use personal experiences to bring your material to life.
    No matter how dry your material is, you can always find a way to humanise it.
  • Technology
    Speak to your audience not your slides.
    Your slides are there to support you not the other way around.
    Ideally, slides should be graphics and not words (people read faster than they hear and will be impatient for you to get to the next point).
    If all the technology on offer fails, it’s still you they’ve come to hear.
  • Humour
    Tell jokes if you’re good at telling jokes.
    If you aren’t good, best to leave the jokes behind.
    There’s nothing worse than a punch line that has no punch.
    Gentle humour is good in place of jokes.
    Self-deprecation is good, but try not to lay it on too thick.

You can learn to enjoy public speaking and become far more effective at standing in front of a group of people and delivering a potent message.
And remember to keep practicing!

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