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Public Speaking Tips

Public Speaking Tips

Zoe Stilphen

July 24th 2021

Speaking in front of a large group or audience can spark a great fear in many people. For others, it is their greatest fear or weakness. But it does not have to be that way! In fact, with a few mindset adjustments, a fear of public speaking can be a thing of the past. Here are six tips for nailing your next speech or presentation.

Grab your audience!

Pull your audience in with an interesting fact or a profound question. This will draw in your listeners and get them engaged with whatever you have to say. Many times speakers have great ideas to impart but lose a lot of the audience if they don’t have a strong introduction to their speech. Focus on jumping straight into what you have to say to get everyone’s attention. Finish up your speech the same way. Leave your listeners thinking.

Be Yourself!

It can be very intimidating to get in front of an audience and share your story. Sometimes it can feel easy to fall into a rhythm of speaking the words that you have memorized as though you are reading from a teleprompter. This can be easy to do, especially if you’re nervous. Make sure to be attentive and if you catch yourself falling into that trap, pause and allow your personality to shine through! Being yourself can allow you to connect with the audience and better convey your message.

Gear your speech around your audience.

The key to delivering a great speech is to make sure that you develop a connection with your audience. Making eye contact with your listeners while also scanning the crowd while you talk will give everyone a sense of connection to what you are saying. They will feel more like you are talking directly to them! That will help to get your listeners engaged and can make you feel more comfortable in front of everyone.

Keep it organized and clear.

Make a strong outline for your speech and continuously study the points that you want to make in each section so you remember to hit every one as you speak. If you get lost, remember the order and it will come back to you! This can be a useful tool not only to keep you in line with your plan, but if you forget specific words of your speech, you will feel more comfortable speaking from the heart.

Don’t read if you can.

You can make a strong impression on your audience if you are able to make that eye contact and engage rather than looking down at a sheet of paper. As helpful as having your speech in front of you may seem, it can be easy to feel drawn towards relying on it instead of being confident that you know your speech. Additionally, keeping your head up will help you to look more professional and prepared all while making a lasting connection with the crowd.

You look more professional and prepared, and oftentimes you will do better without reading because you won’t stumble over lines

Being nervous is common. Be ready!

Sometimes being nervous can lead you to rely on looking down at your speech or twiddling your hands. Reading can lead you to stumble over lines and that fidgeting can distract your audience. Practice your speech in front of a mirror and analyze what you do. Do you sway back and forth? Move your hands a lot? Keep an eye on those patterns of movement and work on staying still and standing tall. Put on a timer, make sure to enunciate and don’t feel pressured to rush through your words. Being nervous can make you rush, so remember that you have plenty of time. Keep practicing, you’re going to nail it!