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Public speaking is an unpleasant activity for many, and the greater the importance of the event, the scarier it gets. However, as a student, teacher, marketer, entrepreneur, and in almost any industry you must constantly confront exhibitions and presentations, either with your team, students, teachers, partners, clients or potential investors. And you must do it the right way if you want to make sure to connect with your audience.
To tell you the truth: public speaking is actually not that difficult. It is no different from talking, and that’s something we’re sure you do all the time. The mystery disappears once you have learned how to approach it from a healthy point of view.
Here we’re going to give you some tips on how to become a good speaker and learn to express your ideas to an audience, without caring about how big or small that audience might be.
People who listen to you will pick one or two of the main ideas that you expose. If you can’t express in a couple of sentences what you’re talking about, then your speech is not well defined. And if you’re not sure about that, in the privacy of your room or office, you’ll be less sure when talking to an auditorium full of people!
No matter how long or short your dissertation might be, it is important to order its elements. We must foresee the introduction, the main points to be exposed and the conclusion in advanced.
Sometimes a good start point its the final sentence! Once you know where you're going, you can choose the road map you prefer to get there. It is crucial to have a powerful and forceful end, since in most cases is what people remember best!
The duration of performances in entertainment shows is usually between 12-15 minutes max. If a crew of dancers and singers who’re putting their whole soul and body into their work fail to entertain audiences for more than 15 minutes, there’s no much hope for speakers! So avoid too long and complicated speeches.
If you try to be different from whom you are (unnatural), you won’t convince anyone. If you do not find an anecdote funny, do not expect the audience to laugh with it. If you’re not interested in the information you’re sharing, the audience will not be interested either, is that simple.
If you’re speaking to an audience, is because you know something they don’t! Share that knowledge! Try them to feel the same that you feel about the subject, passion, love, emotion… sharing feelings is a powerful speaker weapon.
The first person (I) can be an effective weapon, but you should be cautious and properly locate yourself in space, time and type of audience before using it, because it might seem disrespectful.
During the first moments of a speech the link between the public and the exhibitor is established. Smile, thank the person who introduced you and then wait a minute.
Do not start until you have captured the attention of all the audience. Each of these people immediately understand that you’re waiting for them and talking to them, so their brain will start paying attention. That is precisely what you want.
When the public’s looking at you, make eye contact. Choose three friendly faces: one right, one left, and center. Then go to one, then another, and like that you’ll be covering the entire audience.
To read in front of an audience is not closely as effective as talking directly from the heart; spontaneous expression may not be as polished, but is definitely better in terms of connecting with the audience.
A good idea is to make notes with bullet points of the wireframe of your speech. That way you can follow a guideline without loosing spontaneity.
When we’re under stress, we tend to forget how to breathe correctly! Breathing, for public speaking is incredibly important.
Do not inhale deeply and forcefully, nor breathe faster than usual! You could hyperventilate. To relax, just take long breaths and feel your diaphragm moving – your shoulders should be relaxed and immobile – and think: I know what I’m doing, I want to share my knowledge and I will do it!