Public speaking – 4 Key points to note
Public speaking is not just the art of talking to a very large crowd. It also includes the marketing of products to a group of people, trying to gather information from a set of people, posts we make on social media and many other scenarios.
Our world today requires that somehow we talk, and communicate with a group of people. Therefore, it is important that everyone learns the art of public speaking and how to go about it. These are some points that will help sharpen your public speaking abilities.
Before the Speech
Know the type of speech you are giving.
The type of speech to give will depend on the occasion. Some occasions require very emotional and heart moving speeches and some do not. If you are to speak at a birthday, the content of your speech will differ from that of a speaker in a wedding or burial.
Sometimes, a speech is just meant to inform an audience, and some other time, your speech should appeal to their emotions. Whichever form your speech will take; make sure you are aware beforehand.
Preparation does not just involve wearing a good dress and looking presentable. Make sure you get the details of your speech correct.
If you are a speaker at an economic or financial program, get your figures correct. If you are to speak at a religious program or event, get your passages and references correct.
This will imply that you do research and prepare adequately. If you are not sure of the information, it is either you verify or you leave it out totally.
Maintain a good reputation
Your reputation before your audience will determine the respect, response, and attention you get from them.
While this may not really matter in some instances, it means so much to so many people.
No one wants a lazy person telling them to be hard working or someone who is not accountable for demanding accountability from them.
It is important to live up to the standard our audience expects from us.
Know your audience
You should be aware of the recipients of your speech. What are their beliefs? Would this harm their general thought? What is their mindset like? Etc.
For example, if your audience consists mainly of children, you should add some colours to your presentation or slides, and add some fun.
If your audience consists of people with different beliefs, don’t bring up your opinion about one belief.
This will go a long way in affecting the impression you leave with them.
During the Speech
Captivate your audience
The beginning of a speech matters a lot. It determines how good or how bad a speech or talk will go.
People either lose or gain interest from the beginning of a speech.
You can start with a story, a personal experience or just something that gets the attention of your listeners.
Even if you will be required to read from somewhere, try to make your audience feel like you are communicating with them.
If you can, raise your head, and explain some points, add demonstrations, and adequate expressions.
This is one way to pass the message across to your audience.
Notice the reactions given by people. Know when they agree with you, and when they don’t.
Try to observe when they are distracted and when they are still following.
Take note of when they are tired or when they may need a break. Do not be rigid in your communication.
Be time conscious
Irrespective of how many points you have to make, or how much your audience may want you to continue, know when to stop.
You must not elapse the time accorded to you for a speech. If you have done all that is necessary, it’s totally okay to end before time.
Additionally, as much as it lies within your means, start on time.
Stay on track
Stick to the topic of discussion. This is very important because it is very easy to go off point when a topic or speech becomes very interesting.
Writing out the points for discussion may help.
Intermittently, try to know if your audience is following you. You can ask rhetorical questions like “I hope we are following”, “I hope we understand”, etc.
as long as the platform and nature of speech permit you to, try to get some feedback.
After a speech, appreciate your audience and give room for questions if you are allowed to do so.
Build up yourself by reading and studying wide. This will help boost the confidence you exhibit when giving a speech.
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