No matter how knowledgeable and experienced you are in the subject, when it comes to conducting a training session for a group of people or individual, a lot depends on how well you can deliver that knowledge, how long you can keep the audience engaged, and how impactful your speech is.
Here are the top tips you need to go through before a training session to ace you public speaking.
1.Watch the masters
If you have a speech or presentation in your future, start looking for what makes successful public speakers so successful. Note their styles and habits and keep them in mind as good examples.
2.Fix up, look sharp
If you are in a position where public speaking is required, let us hope you have already got a handle on the importance of personal grooming. If not, take heed: The better you look, the more ready and professional you will feel. A lot of people are going to be looking at you – make sure you look your best.
3.Hello, Room. Nice to Meet You
If at all possible, check the specification of the room where you will be speaking. Is it football stadium big or conference room big? What about the sound system? If you will be using a microphone, it is a good idea to test it out beforehand. The more familiar you are with your environment, the more comfortable you will be at the podium.
4.Visualise yourself being fabulous
Negative thinking will get you nowhere but down in the dumps. If you believe that you will be great, you will be. If you think you are going to fail, you probably will. It is as simple as that.
We are usually our own worst critics. If you forget to read a sentence off your notes, it is doubtful anyone will know. If you skip forward to the next image on the projector by mistake, no one’s going to run you out of town.
6.Know your material
Winging it is not a good idea when you have got a speech to make. While going with the flow and being flexible is smart, trusting yourself to be brilliant without any preparation is something even the pros do not attempt. Do your research; know your topic and what you are going to say about it and how you would like to say it. The more you know, the more confident you will be up there.
7.Practice, practice, practice
Once you are prepared, go through the speech; then read it again, then again and then once more. Practice in front of a mirror. Grab a friend or family member and practice in front of them. Every time you go through your presentation, you are adding another layer of “I know this stuff”.
8.Know your audience
To whom are you speaking? If they are colleagues, they probably want to learn something from you. If they are friends, they are likely looking to be entertained. If it is a judge, well, he or she wants to be convinced. Know who your audience is and tailor your speech and delivery to them. Give them what they want!
9.Do not give it away
If it really, truly makes you feel better to announce to the room that you are so nervous before you begin, go ahead. But your speech will have a lot more weight if you do not. Chances are good that you are the only one who knows you are shaking in your boots – why show the cracks in your armour? Let them believe you have it under control, even if you do not feel like you do.
10.Slow your roll
One of the biggest indicators of nervousness is the lightning-fast talker. You might have the best speech ever written, but if no one can understand what you are saying, it does not matter. Pace yourself and remember to speak at a normal (or even slightly slower) pace when you are speaking publicly.
11.The eyes have it
People trust people who look them in the eye, so look at your audience when you are speaking to them. Do not look at the floor – there is nothing down there. Do not look solely at your notes — the audience will think you have not prepared. You appear more confident when your head is up, which puts your audience at ease and allows you to take command of the room.
12.Go on, be funny!
Who does not like to laugh a little? You do not have to be a comedian, but a few light-hearted comments can help humanize you to your audience. Win them over with a smile and a well-timed clever remark, if you can. But be advised, too many jokes can weaken the validity of a presentation.
13.Your errors are okay
You tripped on the microphone cord. So what? You said macro when you meant micro somewhere in your speech. You accidentally said the name of your sister’s ex-boyfriend during your toast instead of the name of her new husband – so what! Everyone makes mistakes. Acknowledge them and move on.
14.Keep it short, please
Even the president’s State of the Union Address is only around an hour. Know what is expected of you and deliver that — and no more. We’ve all been tortured by a speaker who goes on and on, caring little for the audience’s interest or comfort level. Do not be one of those speakers – always leave them wanting more.
15.It is so not about you
The more you can take the focus off yourself, the better. After all, it is not likely you are being asked to give a presentation of your life story. Concentrate on the message and find freedom in just being the messenger.
16.Fake it until you make it
The old saying “fake it ’til you make it” is actually pretty good advice. Even if you have zero confidence in yourself, try acting like you do. The longer you fake it, the more comfortable it will feel, until, voilà, you are a bona fide confidence machine.
We are all human. We are all a little afraid of the podium, the microphone, or the boardroom. Despite what you may believe, people do not want you to fail. They ultimately want to see you succeed. Give them what they want by just being the best you can be.
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