Many people freak out when they need to deliver a speech in front of a crowd. However, if you want to move ahead in your career and become a leader, you need to learn how to be an effective public speaker. Fortunately, public speaking is something that you can learn and with training along with enough practice, everybody can be a better public speaker.
Below you can find tips for becoming a better public speaker:
1. Practice Beforehand: Know your material very well and if possible, be an expert about it. Make an outline or if it is a power point presentation, prepare your slides in advance. Rehearse your speech a few times. It is better to practice it in front of a mirror first so that you can evaluate yourself. Then, for the final practices, you should rehearse it in the actual room that you will deliver the speech. If this is not possible, at least try to learn the technical details in the room such as whether there is a computer, a projector or a mike. This will help you be more prepared for the speech.
2. Know Your Audience: Try to learn as much about the audience as you can. For example, the number of people attending your speech, their age and their knowledge about the topic are important factors that will help you determine the tone and content of the speech that you will deliver. Make sure to have an opening line that will catch the attention of your audience.
3. Keep it Simple: You know the material very well and that is why you are the speaker. However, don’t forget that it may be your audience’s first time hearing about this topic. Therefore, keep your speech simple. Don’t assume everybody listening to you is an expert. Otherwise, you may overwhelm your audience with so many details that they cannot digest. Focus on the main points. Leave some time for questions at the end so that if one has a more detailed question, you can drill down through the topic.
4. Make it Personal: Take every opportunity to connect with your audience. Be humorous and don’t try to show off. Use gestures, hands and move on the stage. Be careful about the tone of your voice. Try to sound friendly and not bossy. Moreover, tell stories whenever you can. People like to hear other people’s lives because they usually find similarities and they can identify themselves with them. In addition, stories are more remarkable than graphs and bullet points as well as they are easier to tell compared to facts because you can remember them easier.