Public speaking ranks high in regards to the things people are afraid to do. Whether it’s the fear of being watched by others, or the insecurity and nervous feeling of freezing up and forget you intended to say, these five tips will help you give a polished, professional speech that will make you proud!
1. Know your audience
Knowing your audience is the single best piece of advice for delivering a presentation. What are their interests? Their backgrounds? Why are they coming to hear you speak? What ideas do you have to share with them? Approach your speech in a conversational style, a discussion. You can do that better if you know something about the audience.
2. Know what you want your audience to do as a result of your speech
What’s really at the heart of your presentation? By “starting with the end in mind”, you create a powerful punch that drives home your message and keeps your talk in perspective. Then you won’t find yourself rambling.
“A good speech is like a pencil; it has to have a point.”
— Author Unknown
3. Share a story
In public speaking, this is called a "hook" - something that gets your audience's attention and makes them sit up and listen. You can start by asking questions or sharing an experience you had. People like to be active, rather than passive listeners.
By giving them something that they can identify with, you’ll find that these people are just like you; that makes giving a presentation a whole lot easier. Be sure your story has a beginning, a mid-point, and an ending. This way, you won’t forget where you are in the story.
4. Engage them in an activity
Give your audience something to DO by providing them with a quick fill-in-the-blank handout or “team activity”. An exercise or activity will help reinforce your message in ways that a PowerPoint presentation doesn’t.
5. End with a recap to reiterate the key points & action items
Speakers can get carried away with the details and leave their audiences asking, “What was the point?” People naturally digest information in “bite-sized pieces”, but you can’t give them all the details at once. Instead, focus on the big picture. If the details are just as important, put it on a handout that the audience can take with them to read at their leisure.
And there you have it! If you keep these five tips in mind, you’ll not only have an easier time overcoming your fear of public speaking, but you’ll have an appreciative audience who will be more receptive and eager to take action.
Let me know your thoughts by liking or commenting on this post.
Pat B. Freeman is an inspirational speaker, trainer, and professional coach – certified by the John Maxwell Team. She began speaking in front of audiences at age 7. Pat is the CEO and Founder of Pat B. Freeman LLC, a speaking, and coaching company that offers leadership empowerment training for professional and entrepreneur-spirited women. She has a passion for working to help women unleash their authentic inner passion and find purpose and fulfillment in their career and life. Pat provides one-on-one and group workshops, webinars, online courses, and coaching sessions to help each person achieve their “Big Dream” goals. Public Speaking is just one of the necessary programs she offers to create success for women. She is also an author and serial entrepreneur and has over 20 years in Community College Leadership in Adult Education.