Here Are Five Great Tips To Help You With Public Speaking
No matter how far you have come in your career, talking in front of 50 or 500 people can always be challenging. Preparing well for it with note cards or having a good deal of practice from previous appearances in front of a crowd does help. But do you really need to speak in public in your profession? Turns out, most professions do need some amount of public speaking. The more you do it, the confident you become. Public speaking or presenting in public also helps in appearing more confident in front of the client. How you present your work can make or break your deal with the client. Hence, here are some of the best tips that will help you prepare to pitch your idea:
Know Your Audience Well
Before preparing your slides or speech, you must know your audience well. Keeping them in mind, you should prepare your presentation accordingly. When you understand their expectations, you can steer the conversations in the right direction. It is important to know the knowledge level of the audience, too, because that way, you can structure your presentation accordingly. Neither do you want to bore them nor do you want to overwhelm them with minute and unnecessary details! Sometimes, public speaking can be within an informal setting, too. For example, you might be requested to toast in front of a big gathering at your best friend’s wedding. But the same speech will be quite different if you are in front of your college friends only. Whatever the occasion, keeping it simple always works in every situation. Make sure to have one central theme for your speech and keep coming back to it again and again. That way the audience will remember it long after.
If you keep practicing in front of the mirror, will you be able to detect all the flaws in your speech by yourself? No. So you need to have a few trustworthy friends who can give you the right feedback when you give a presentation in front of them. Practicing in front of actual people will also give you a better perspective on what to expect when you are on stage. Ask for specific feedback and work on the points that they have come up with. For example, were the points were clear or did it confuse them? Another way to find out your flaws would be by recording your own speech with your phone and playing it back later. You will be surprised to find how many times you stutter or say “um”.
Is Memorizing A Must?
This is a tricky question, but let’s say yes and no. Yes, you might need to memorize the first and last few lines. It is important to start on the right note and drive your point home. It is equally important to end the speech with a solution to the problem that you have mentioned. Hence, the beginning and end of your speech need to be memorized. But if you are comfortable with the topic (which you must be since you are giving a presentation), there is no need to memorize what goes in the middle. All you need to remember are the paragraph headings that will help you steer through the speech.
What To Do If Your Mind Goes Blank?
Here is one question everybody wants an answer to — what do you do if your mind suddenly goes blank in the middle of the speech? First of all, keep calm and remember that the audience is on your side. You can make a joke about it and even that will go down really well with the crowd since everybody must have faced similar situations in their lives. The best way to avoid it is by pausing every now and then and trying to remember your next point. It also gives a chance to the audience to grasp the points and think about them. Keep talking even if that is not what you have in your notes. You don’t have to be perfect — digress, make a joke, drink water — it will only make you more real. When you keep speaking, you will eventually remember the next part of your speech and then you can start again.
Remember everybody gets nervous while speaking so give yourself some encouragement and go for it.
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