Toastmasters has dramatically helped me in my everyday life. Giving impromptu presentations at work is just as easy as when I receive a phone call. And being asked to give a speech at a conference is welcomed. Over the past decade I picked up a few helpful gems that I hope can be of use to you:
- Don’t start speaking right away, pause after you are introduced.
This is a good set-up building some anticipation, it also allows you to relax and take a breath.
- Hook your audience at the very beginning with a question or a story. Questions and stories engage your audience. There is a huge difference in telling someone the value of your speech and asking your audience what they value..
- Use the rule of 3: Introduction, body, conclusion. Have no more than 3 points to cover.
Keep your presentation simple, that way you can go without a script. Sticking to three main points allows your audience to remember.
- Speak slowly and pause after each point. Silence is a powerful tool, use it after you made a point to let it sink in and to build anticipation for your next point.
- Eye contact each member of your audience, one by one. Continue to make contact with those who are open to your message, avoid the trolls. You can’t please everyone.
- Speak with the intent to give your audience something of value, don’t try to sell. Let your stories add value to their values.
- Know and honour your audience, target your message. Your message will most likely be presented differently to Rotary International and Big Brother/Big Sister.
- Confidence is key. Know your material and practice, practice, practice…
- Be a unicorn. Offer something unique and be unique.
- Smile. A smile makes you more likeable and helps you convey a positive sense to your speech. Like public speaking, smiling while you talk takes practice. It may seem a bit awkward at first. But it will not take long to get the hang of it.
The only person that can make you a better public speaker is you. Watching TED talks is a great way to pick up some ‘trade secrets’ on public speaking. Also speak whenever you get a chance; sign up for speeches, join in table topics, speak up at company meetings.
For more tips visit:
90 Tips From Toastmasters https://www.toastmasters.org/About/90th-Anniversary/90-Tips
TED Talks https://www.ted.com
40 Quick Tips for Speakers https://www.unmarketing.com/2011/11/23/30-quick-tips-for-speakers/