100 Public Speaking Tips

Public Speaking Tips 41 - 60

41. Smile during your speech - A smile will make your audience more receptive. It's an important tip that has been mentioned a couple of times before inside this audio book series. A subtle smile splashed across your face is bound to make everyone in your audience feel better. They will sense that you are a friendly, relaxed and confident person. They will listen to your speech more attentively and be a lot more receptive to thoughts and concepts shared with them through your speech content. A smile costs nothing but most speakers use them so sparingly that I often wonder if they can't smile due to a cheek or jaw bone problem.

42. Enjoy yourself while on stage. You are the star of the Show. It's you time in the spotlight. Have a great time while you are speaking. The audience is fully focused on you and every word that you are saying. Make the most of this great opportunity. This is one of the main reasons that I love speaking in public so much. It feels awesome to stand in front of a crowd and have the power to speak what's on your mind. The audience can quickly sense when a speaker is not confident and relaxed while they speak. It makes them lose confidence in the speaker. Likewise, showing that you are confident, relaxed and having a good time on stage (unless it's a funeral speech) makes the audience feel a similar confidence in you.

43. During my initial years as a professional public speaker, I did my best to extract maximum opportunities to speak in front of large and varied audiences. As a result of this purpose, I ended up making hundreds of lectures and presentations at schools, colleges, companies, clubs and even in a few religious places. I took up training programs in people's living rooms during those first 5 years of my training career. My objective was to get as much practice in public speaking as I possibly could. As a result, those thousands of hours of speaking practice in front of people aged between 7 to 70 years has turned me into a truly experienced and passionate speaker today.

44. Whenever possible, you must describe your speech material rather than just say them. Use animated language and talk in terms of pictures & not words. The audience can understand stories and visuals a lot more easily then words and phrases. Describing certain parts of your speech in an animated fashion helps the audience understand you a whole lot better. Most of us love things being described to us in a way that makes us connect with the said topic better. For example, if you are speaking about your favorite food item and you describe it in vivid detail then the chances are high that the mouths of your audience members will start watering.

45. You can't win over everybody. It hasn't happened in the history of the world. It probably won't start happening when it's your turn to speak. It's better to focus on your messages, do your research well, analyze your audience certainly, prepare a speech that meets your main objectives and aligns with the needs of your audience. Once this is done, practice your speech as many times as you can, get truly comfortable with your content, then go out there and deliver a kick ass speech when the time comes for you to speak with your audience. Who knows, you might prove everyone wrong by winning over every single member of your audience.

46. I usually take along my assistant to guest lectures, corporate seminars and my own training programs. Having someone there not only gives me moral support but she also serves as an important member of my audience who can spontaneously give me feedback on my speech so that I can modify my approach, content, and delivery style accordingly. Sometimes, we must check the microphone, lighting, seating arrangements and audio/visual equipment before I start speaking. Doing this on my own would be a real waste of time and a hassle by itself. But having my assistant do it with me saves time and makes it appear to the audience that we have been doing this for donkeys years, which we have by the way.

47. Avoid long words and technical jargon. Choose small sized words for your speech content. 8 or less letters per word works best. There is a funny and weird tendency of many inexperienced speakers to try and woo their audience through the use of sophisticated terminology inside their speeches. It's crazy to do so because the audience will find it difficult to move from sentence to sentence since their brains might not comprehend certain words correctly. Make it a point to use the simplest of words to communicate with your audience. Don't make things tough for them. Make it easier, for them and for you.

48. Being a professional speaker and public speaking trainer since 1999, I've seen almost everything in my speaking experience. I've observed and analyzed hundreds of speakers over the years. I've done this to myself get better at speaking while equipping myself with more tips, tricks and tools to teach the thousands of trainees I've successfully trained since the start of my training career. One thing I've learned is that every speaker has their own way to warm up before a speech, their own unique methods to relax and enter the speaking area in a positive frame of mind. That's why, it's important that you find out on your own what methods, techniques or tips suit you the most while speaking, whether before, during or after the speech. Use these tips inside this vast resource but always formulate your own for yourself.

49. To be absolutely honest, the only times that I have been late for a seminar or guest lecture where I was the invited speaker, were times when I didn't know the exact directions to the speaking location. It was my first time in that side of town and I got my timings wrong. However, since I am always an hour early at most speaking events, I always reach there before my precise speaking time. I'm the only one that knows that I was late. But I could have easily avoided being late by possibly visiting the location before hand or asking a friend who knew the place for the precise directions.

50. Check yourself in the restroom before starting your speech. It will help you feel ready and comfortable. Usually, I have a set routine I follow for my seminars. I listen to my audio book specifically prepared to pep me up and help me relax before my speech. I do those breathing exercises inside the audio book then I visit the restroom to check my appearance one final time. Sometimes if I have extra time, I start off a final rehearsal with my assistant listening to my speech backstage. This is the ultimate confidence booster for me. It helps relieve my nerves before I go out onto that stage.

51. I love speaking without using any other aids apart from myself. I dislike the use of visual aids to be honest. I believe that public speaking is speaking in public, not speaking in public using projectors and slides, blackboards and flip charts, handouts and videos. It is this common sense approach towards public speaking that has helped me successfully train over 10,000 trainees since 1999. It has helped me speak and get applauded by over 250,000 people. I've had hundreds of guest lectures and seminars speaking to a combined total of 250,000 people or more. Not a single time has any member of my audience ever asked me why I spoke without using visual aids. Never. Ever. Then again this is just me.

52. Be friendly and approachable as a speaker. Allow yourself time to mingle and get to know the crowd. You can do this mingling both before and after your speech. The audience members love a speaker who isn't hesitant to speak to them, shake their hands, exchange pleasantries, etc. It takes a lot of confidence to mingle with your audience. Your audience members can sense this confidence that you possess when you make all efforts to mingle with them before you start speaking. Mingling with your audience after your speech shows that you genuinely care about them and want to fulfill your duties as a speaker by making yourself available to them for a brief chat after your speech.

53. Everyone gets nervous at the start of a speech. You can reduce this nervousness by doing some deep breathing exercises or visualizing a happy play inside your mind. It is nice to be in a positive frame of mind before your speech. Being relaxed and confident before you start to speak sends out the right message to your audience. Experienced speakers usually breathe in and out in sets of 6 breath ins and outs per minute. This relaxes their nerves thereby helping them be relaxed and ready to make their speech. Things like daydreaming, laying down in the backstage area with your eyes closed, taking a little nap, etc. also help.

54. As a public speaking coach who has trained thousands of working professionals and students over the years, I've noticed many similarities between the great speakers and the ordinary ones. The highly effective speakers always know their subject inside out, appear confident throughout their presentation, are comfortable with their audience, use positive body language, and aren't afraid to vary their voice to achieve a greater impact on their audience. I can safely say that every great speaker makes themselves comfortable in front of their audience right from the start of their speech. Infact, most of them spend a good deal of time in the speaking room even before they start speaking.

55. Few vocal terms every public speaker needs to know. 1. Volume: How loudly or softly you speak. The goal is to be heard without shouting. Good speakers lower their voice to draw the audience in, and raise it to make a point. 2. Tone: The characteristics of a sound. A voice that carries fear can frighten the audience, while a voice that carries laughter can get the audience to smile. 3. Pitch: How high or low a note is. Some people speak at a high pitch while others at a low pitch. The best thing to do is to vary your pitch well. 4. Pace: How fast or slow you speak. Talking too fast causes the words and syllables to be short, while talking slowly lengthens them. Varying the pace helps to maintain the audience's interest.

56. Don't have tea, coffee or any other drink apart from warm water before or during your speech. There is a certain dryness that happens inside your mouth after consuming drinks such as coffee and many aerated beverages. It's difficult to speak clearly and in your normal tone of voice when you have consumed such drinks before your speech or during the tea breaks. The best thing to do is to carry along your own warm water bottles to every speaking event. I do so always. Especially since I drink mainly boiled water at home as well. So it might not agree with my voice if I suddenly switch to filtered water outside the home.

57. Join a good public speaking course in your area and get regular practice there. Nothing can beat the hands on practice you can receive at the hands of an experienced public speaking trainer. Find new opportunities to speak in public even after the course is over. There are numerous speaking clubs and several online opportunities available to showcase your speaking talents to others while honing your presentation skills at the same time. Posting tutorial videos or recordings of your speeches on certain topics online that might be useful to many others is a wonderful way to make more opportunities to speak in public.

58. In the past few years, I've noticed that many of my trainees spend sleepless nights practicing their speeches in order to make sure that they get it perfectly right when they deliver it the following morning. I've been speaking about the importance of sleep for over 2 decades now. You can't be at your best when you haven't had good sleep in the night. It is one of my biggest tips to you to get enough sleep before your big speech. Don't stay up late when you know you must make a great speech the next day. You will always speak better when you are rested.

59. Often, when I take up corporate seminars, I reach the speaking venue well ahead of time, say an hour before hand, then I analyze the room, mingle with the audience as they enter the room, and even spend time carrying on short conversations with them to help me analyze them a lot better than what I did on paper. I tend to look at the audience as a group of friends and family. It is this tendency that I have that helps me stay relaxed throughout the entire duration of the seminar. It's easier to speak to a room full of people when you already know a few or many of them already.

60. Nowadays, public speaking has gone high tech. Few speakers have invested in mini earphones which they can insert into their ears and can then be fed with what to speak on stage. Their team members or assistants can also give them vital feedback about their speech or certain members of the audience while they are speaking LIVE on stage. While this might seem like a wonderful thing to own, it's actually a distraction in more ways than one. While it's helpful to have your important points fed to you inside your ears so that you can share them with the audience without a single mistake, the aspect that I don't like about using such devices is that you destroy the human element of speaking when you do this. There is great joy in speaking to an audience, don't destroy it with the use of such high tech gadgets. Keep it simple. Speak like a public speaker should. Be yourself. Be more human.

From the udiobook Series "500 Public Speaking Tips" by Savio DSilva available on Osovo.

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