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6 Essential Public Speaking Tips

college student Nov 15, 2020

Making a speech before an audience can be very intimidating for some people, while others simply have a natural propensity for it.  One should never let public speaking anxiety prevent him/her/they from bestowing upon others his/her/their incredible and invaluable perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom.  That’s why we’ve put together these six tips to up your public speaking game.

  1. Join Your Local Chapter of Toastmasters International. This organization’s sole purpose is to help people become better public speakers.  You’ll have opportunities to practice your speech in front of a small crowd while having qualified individuals give you pointers on what you could do differently to make your presentation more impactful.  And you can learn from the critique of others’ speeches, as well.  It’s a fantastic resource.  And practice makes perfect!

 

  1. Be Yourself. When you let your authentic personality shine in front of an audience, you become more relatable to people.  They will be more likely to remember your words when you present them with your own unique flavor.  Sharing personal stories to explain your points is also very effective.

 

  1. Open Your Speech with an Attention-Grabber. This could be a funny joke, a shocking statistic, or a captivating story.  If you engage their attention right off the back, you will be more successful in driving home the key information you’re trying to convey.  A slow introduction might bore them to tears and they’ll be somewhere else in their mind by the time you get to the important stuff.

 

  1. Organize Your Speech. You will want to have a smooth flow, which requires a lot of preparation.  Ensure you have a full understanding of the topic you’re going to discuss.  Structure your speech so that it has a strong opener, an efficient body, and a motivating conclusion.  Avoid jumping around from topic to topic.  Start with one and ensure you’ve covered it fully before moving on to your next point.

 

  1. Don’t Hide Behind Your Notes. It’s a good idea to memorize as much of your speech as possible.  That way you don’t have your face buried in papers as you go along – or worse, reading from them.  You can make notecards for yourself that list keywords in bullet points so that you can quickly glance at them and instantly know where you’re supposed to go next.  Think of them as reminders.

 

  1. When we feel anxious while giving speeches or presentations, many of us tend to rush through the material with shaky hands, a cracking voice, and bulging eyes.  Take some deep breaths and try to relax.  Your nervousness is highly visible when you’re in the spotlight.  Remind yourself that you know your content well and engage in positive self-talk to boost your confidence.