Do you want to become a great public speaker? Is that even an important skill? Certainly! Most successful leaders and professionals will tell you that knowing how to deliver a perfect presentation is a skill they wouldn’t succeed without. It’s not just about the information you need to deliver, it’s how you deliver it that makes the difference between being heard and comprehended. How you deliver a speech or a presentation is key to success no matter what the topic is. Even if you don’t need to make regular presentations in your work, there are plenty of situations where perfect public speaking skills can help you enrich your career and create opportunities in life.
1. Start strong
The way you start is crucial to grab the attention of your audience. Be focused and kick off your speech with an ice breaker and an interesting introduction (it could be in the form of a story or a discussion). And always remember, the first impressions could last forever.
2. Know your audience
As a public speaker, it is always about your audience. If you don’t know your audience and their interests, you won’t be able to use the language they listen to. No matter how interesting the topic could be, the tone could make you win your audience over or totally lose them. Try to keep them engaged. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved in your speech.
3. Be ready
To be a good public speaker, you must be always well prepared and well aware of the topic you are about to speak of. On the day of the speech, test any tools or electronics you are about to use (such as the microphone, laptop, and projector) and make sure that everything is working well.
4. Use body language
Remember that +90% of communication is nonverbal. Your audience will read your body language so make sure you do the right gestures and avoid any moves that can reflect stress or nervousness; make sure you portray that you appear self-confident.
5. Read and increase your knowledge
It is the most needed skill for a perfect speaker to increase your knowledge base, acquire additional skills, and read a lot about different topics. In addition, having a good informative mind increases the level of confidence.
6. Make it interesting from start to end
Individuals engage with an entertaining rather than a fact-filled presentation. Be funny and friendly if possible. And make use of different methods of conveying your message by using visual effects, true stories, open discussions, etc.
Speak in front of a mirror or record yourself and review to learn from any mistakes. It also helps if you rehearse in front of trusted knowledgeable friends and family members and ask for feedback.
8. Let your passion and enthusiasm show
The more you show your passion and dedication for the topic you are addressing, the more likely you grab the attention of your audience and convince them with your point of view.
9. Listen to constructive feedback
Keep the focus on the audience. Even if no one gave you a direct comment you can get their feedback from their reactions and interaction. If your audience is engaged and asks questions, then you are on the right track. If not, you need to exert more effort to get them interested.
10. There is always room for development
Watch videos of good public speakers and take notes, read a bit about body language, or take a course in public speaking; there are lots of things to do to always get better and better. So commit to an improvement plan and dedicate at least 5 minutes a day to learn and develop your techniques.