10 Tips For Public Speaking

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.    
  6. Speak with the intent to give your audience something of value, don’t try to sell.  Let your stories add value to their values.
  7. Know and honour your audience, target your message.  Your message will most likely be presented differently to Rotary International and Big Brother/Big Sister. 
  8. Confidence is key.  Know your material and practice, practice, practice…
  9. Be a unicorn. Offer something unique and be unique. 
  10. 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/

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