Public speaking is the art of performing a speech in front of a live audience, usually entertaining them or highlighting the importance of an ongoing issue. When you come face to face with an audience the experience can be so overwhelming that you suddenly freeze in your feet and you cannot get your thoughts in order. This sudden panic has thrown off your plan and now your head is in disarray. Everything cannot go well or as planned when you address an audience as there may be people who may heckle you over something you say. This can break your flow or interrupt your train of thoughts, thereby affecting the speech.
This will set you off and make you upset as when you are on a stage; you need the attention and cooperation of everybody. While speaking in public, your voice must be commanding enough to discipline all those in front of you and gauge their interest in the topic you are addressing.
#1. Know The Demographics Of The Audience
You need to know who you are addressing when you are on a stage with a mic so that you know what words to choose. If the audience you are addressing to has more young people then you can modify your speech by using the terms that are popular among youngsters to get them going. This will keep the audience engaging and boost your confidence. On the other hand, if you are addressing to a crowd of senior, old people then you are require to keep your speech more grounded. You can pick up issues that you feel will engage them. In order to be a good public speaker, you need to put extra efforts to understand the kind of audience you are addressing to. and then choose your words accordingly.
#2. Practice In The Mirror
Everyone feels conscious while speaking in front of a greater audience. Public speaking is not an easy task but it is not that difficult as well. When we are on a stage, addressing a large number of people we can be easily overwhelmed just by seeing so many people. And start thinking how do these people feel about me and then simplify the questing by fixating on a single person and asking what does he or she think about me? When we practice in the mirror we remove all such doubts and acquire new-found confidence as we positively affirm our appearance and our expression and go over the words again and again fully. This builds up the confidence and makes us more comfortable with our speech.
#3. Build A Narrative
How did things begin? What is the current state of things and what does the picture look like for the future are some of the questions that you can easily instill in the brain of the people who are listening to you and involve them deeply in the cause you are representing. Whenever we read a book, we are intimately connected with what we read as the narrative draws us in and makes us associate and compare instances of our own life with the story. The power of the narrative is on full display when it is put to use well. One cannot master the art of public speaking until and unless he or she fully utilizes the power of storytelling.
#4. Use Daily Incidents To Open
You need to open the public address with a line that reels all the people in and tells them that you are one of them. It can be difficult for people to associate with. They may view you with reverence or bias. If they revere you, they will attempt to flatter you and if they don’t they may cast aspersions on you. Any audience which has people who give in to either of these emotions is bound to miss the message which you are imparting. Talking about your struggles and things that you find difficult to accomplish helps people see you as a human being and not just a byproduct of achievements.
#5. Ask People To Come And Join You
It is very important that you ask people to come and join you so that you can show to others that it’s not only your show but the community’s show. You can ask questions from the audience. This will help to open up a dialogue, the conclusion of which will help both the audience to understand your point better. They will also feel like a part of your speech. Other than this you can invite the audience if you are addressing a small gathering on the stage asking them to come one by one and say what steps will they take to ensure that the lesson you have delivered in your speech is incorporated in their way of life or how will they support the movement you have spoken about. For big gathering, you can divide people into groups and ask only the leader to come up on stage and announce the group’s sentiments leaving everyone convinced.
#6. Develop Positive Body Language
It’s not just your words your audience will be focusing on as everything that you do even the tiniest movements will be scrutinized and examined. At such a time you cannot have negative body language as it will not inspire confidence and may make people feel that you are lying. Hesitation to make eye contact or crossing your arms while speaking will tell others that you are not confident in yourself. It is important that you are serious and sincere in imparting the knowledge which you want to convey and don’t give fake smiles that can get you the ire of people quickly.
#7. Organize Small Meet Ups First
You have watched a lot of videos and given yourself the pep talk which is needed to boost your confidence and speak to a group. There are more psychological hurdles for things which you have never done as you are in a frame of mind that sees uncertainty as something negative. If you start your public speaking journey by organizing a group of friends and address them, it can help you to become more comfortable with public speaking. As you are addressing a group of friends, they can also point out the mistakes in your speech and then you can work on them.
#8. Be Creative
If you are a public speaker, your biggest challenge is to keep your audience interested in what you are saying and not allow them to pass into apathy towards you. You can show people presentations which are rich in images so that they feel captivated and have something that they can easily retain. Putting together what you want to say through pictures leaves a lasting impression on your audience and tells them that you are not just someone who like talking big but wants things done.
#9. Bring Passion And Care
It is the responsibility of a public speaker to make people aware of the negative impact their collective actions are causing to the society and tell them ways in which they can alter their approach. For good things to happen all of us need to be united in our endeavor marching in the same direction. Only a person who has mastered the art of public speaking can move the hearts of his audience and make them care deeply about the thing he is speaking about.
#10. Use Attention To Prove You Are Good
You are on the stage and all you see in front of you are swathes of people who are anticipating what you are going to do next now that you have climbed up the stairs. The first thing you must do to tell people that you are really prepared for this and have not come here on a half-hearted conviction is to give them a firm handshake preventing them from putting you down as fragile. Relax your shoulders and show that you are comfortable in this environment. All public speakers can slip into a state of mind where they victimize themselves with their own imagination and develop negativity by telling themselves they disappointed the people or failed to convince them. Public speakers should not worry too much about results, just focus more on engaging audience's interest.
Tell us how you mastered the art of public speaking or the steps you have taken to become a great public speaker. We would love to know your experiences, so please share your thoughts in the comment box below.