How To Be A Better Public Speaker
In an increasingly collaborative business landscape, the ability to speak to a large public audience is more useful than ever before. If done well, public speaking at events could enhance your position as an industry expert and thought leader, whilst generating publicity and PR for your business. That said, public speaking might not come naturally to all, so here are some easy ways to hone your charisma and comfort in public speaking.
Commit Themes To Memory
Memorising and regurgitating a speech word-for-word sounds convenient in theory, but is ill-advised. You could come across as unnatural in your delivery, and that is if you successfully recall the entirety of your prepared speech. With nerves playing a part, forgetting part of a strictly adhered script could lead to a break in presentation flow and awkward silences.
Instead, remember key points and concepts when memorising content. Speak naturally about each point, substantiating with anecdotes, examples and takeaways for the audience. This provides greater flexibility whilst the speech is ongoing, allowing you to incorporate and react to audience input and queries, and not be thrown completely off-guard when missing out certain points. The end result: a more engaging presentation with smoother flow when delivered.
With many potential variables in live presentations, leave nothing to chance with ample preparation. Even the best rarely wing it completely; there is a fine line between flexibility and lack of preparation. Rehearse the speech frequently, by yourself or in front of an audience.
You can also record yourself giving the speech and watch the footage to catch nuances of your presentation which can be improved on. Things like posture, gesturing, expression or even overly repeated phrases, can be spotted and corrected after studying your recorded speeches.
Interact With The Audience
Although you may be speaking to a large audience, rapport can be built with members of the audience by actively engaging them during the course of your speech. Prior to stepping in front of everyone, you can decide on points where you take and respond to audience questions. At the end of every key takeaway, get the audience to repeat these lessons back – this not only boosts audience engagement, but also gives them devices to retain the speech material.
Communicating with the audience can also happen before they get seated for the start of the speech. Such interaction is beneficial to both parties: the audience warms up to you before listening to what you have to say, and you as a speaker get to know the demographics and dynamics of your audience before presenting, allowing you to portray a more relatable stance in your speech later on.
Enhance Audio and Visual Elements
The audience expects more than just a presenter reading off his slides when they attend a talk. We suggest incorporating various alternative elements into your presentation, such as tastefully humorous photos, short videos, or personal anecdotes. This way, you can inject more personality into your speech, as well as keep the audience attentive by breaking up the monotony of the presentation.
Technology has given us even more options to enhance our presentation, with opportunities for increased interactivity. For example, Canon’s LV-WX300USTi short-throw projector introduces the Finger Touch module, allowing for up to four participants to pen down their input on the projection, encouraging greater discussion and participation between audience members and you. When implemented effectively, the novelty and usefulness of such features can leave a memorable impression in the audience.
Ultimately, these tips will go a long way in refining the art of public speaking for any business leader. With sufficient practice and experience, public speaking will become second nature eventually, and help in positioning you as an influential thought leader in your field.
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