PUBLIC SPEAKING TIPS AND TRICKS
Public Speaking Tips and Tricks
Mental and Physical Preparation Before Your Presentation
The more prepared you are – the more confident you feel. This makes for a better presentation. As you get comfortable speaking you’ll naturally feel more confident and the need to prepare (and time it takes) will not be so important. For newer and first time speakers, spend the time you need to get ready. Basically, this means knowing, feeling comfortable with, and practicing your material. When you’re telling your personal story – this is easy. Ask a friend to listen to your presentation and to provide you with feedback. Time your talk and make sure it’s not too long or too short. But Don’t Memorize Most people memorize speeches by rote – or word-for-word repetition – and try to deliver it exactly as they’ve written it. You probably don’t realize that this method of learning is actually setting you up to forget what you’re supposed to say because it creates tremendous stress, which is in turn the No. 1 one killer of memory. Or if you do manage to remember every single word you’d planned to say, the effort requires so much mental energy that you come off as a terrible communicator. You’re not really there while you’re speaking because all of your efforts go into remembering what comes next. If, heaven forbid, something distracts you, or someone interrupts you with a question during a memorized presentation, thinking about anything other than “What comes next?” can throw you completely off-track. Your mind may literally go blank, just as you feared.
During Your Speech
§ § New speakers tend to speak quickly to “get it over”. Speak slowly – this is where practice can help. Speak to INDIVIDUALS in the crowd. Don’t gaze out over the group – direct your gaze to individuals and move around the room when you’re speaking. Think about talking to your friends – you wouldn’t talk over their heads. Keep water nearby. Nerves can lead to dry mouth. Keep it slow and steady. Pause when you need to take a breath, you’ll think better If you can get to the stage of being able to give your speech without notes, that's great, but don’t be afraid to keep notes or an outline handy. Don’t forget to breathe. Don’t agonize over mistakes, and don’t say you’re sorry. Remain confident and if you mess up— move on. Pause to let strong ideas sink in. This can be hard to remember, but your audience needs time to absorb and take breaks too! Be prepared for interruptions and questions. If you are doing well, you’ll have lots of questions and engaging with the crowd will help you relax too. Relax, have fun and be yourself. People respond best to a message when the person delivering it is genuine. With sufficient preparation of the right type, you’ll feel comfortable enough to be yourself in front of a group. You can then demonstrate how much you believe in what you’re saying. When you can relax and be an authentic human being, you tap into powerful communication.
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Preparing Your Speech Or Presentation
§ § § § Tell stories. Stories will get your idea across and help engage your audience. Don’t read your slides or notes. They should support what you are saying, not be what you are saying. Keep your intro short and strong. People want to know who you are, but they also want to get into the meat of your talk.. End strong. Make your finale crisp, clean and powerful.
Using Slide Presentations
FORCE has slide presentations and designs available for your use. If you’re creating your own presentation keep the following in mind: § § § § Keep text to a minimum. No more than 5 bullet points per slide. Check the contrast and font size. Make sure that if you have text on the screen that people can read it. Use pictures to get your idea across. They’re easier to remember, less distracting and make more impact. Have stories ready and use imagery to set the backdrop. Have simple to follow notes to go along with your slides and major talking points. They should serve as a reminder, not something for you to read from.