Public speaking, for many, is a much dreaded affair. And yet, it is a very important skill for people of all ages. Whether you’re in middle school, high school, college or working, you need to learn public speaking. At one time or another, you are going to be called upon to stand before an audience. So if you haven’t mastered the art of public speaking, here are a few tips to help you do it right.
Be comfortable in your stage presence
First things first, learn to be comfortable while on the stage. If you’re not comfortable standing in front of people you’re going to get nervous, sweaty, your knees will get shaky, and even your voice will get weak. Basically, you won’t be functional at all. You’ll be a wreck. Train yourself to be comfortable when all eyes are on you. Be comfortable in how you look, what you’re wearing, what you’re going to say, etc. Practice if you need to. Once you master stage presence, all that remains is the delivery of your message.
Know your audience
Just like a company advertising to its customers, a public speaker needs to understand who his/her audience is. This will enable you to craft your message in a manner that the people will understand best. You could categorize your audience as students, elderly persons, customers, etc. Once you’ve done this, develop your message in a manner that resonates with the needs of your audience. Even your examples should reflect your audience and their daily experiences. This will make your message more relatable and keep your audience more attentive.
Focus on your line of thought
Once on stage, stay focused on what you’re trying to say to your audience. And keep your line of thought organized as well. One of the worst blunders you could make on stage is to fall apart mentally and lose sight of what you are supposed to say. Don’t let the bright lights or the faces in front of you distract you. In fact, don’t let anything catch your attention for more than a split second. Everything else is background. You and your message are the main focus.
Watch your body language
Your audience will not only be listening to what you say, they will also be looking at what you’re doing. So watch your body language. The best public speakers use their body language to emphasize their points. Study the basics of body language and learn the don’ts and dos. They’re not that hard. Once you do, your delivery on stage will be much more powerful.
Keep your audience glued
And lastly, keep your audience glued. Don’t let them get bored or disinterested, because if they do, your message/presentation will collapse. Think of yourself as a salesman trying to pitch a sale. If you lose the attention of the target, everything crumbles. Jokes, examples, and interacting with the audience are some of the best ways to avoid this.
Once you master these traits, you will become a brilliant public speaker no matter what you’re speaking about or who you’re speaking to.
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