People Connect

Become an Effective Speaker: Tips and tricks
  • May 01, 2024
  • 235
  • 0

HOW TO BECOME AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SPEAKER: TIPS AND TRICKS

Public speaking, contrary to popular belief, is a skill that can be acquired and not just a gift one is born with. The basic essence of public speaking is being a good communicator. While talking to a large audience may come naturally to some people, talking to a small room of persons may seem impossible for others, however, with training and practice, it can become a skill well honed. So here is the golden question; do you want to become an effective speaker?

The ability to speak publicly is not a skill for only public speakers, rather it is one that can open doors and inspire change. It can take your 5-minute elevator pitch from an ‘Alright, thank you. Let me get back to you on that’ to a ‘What did you say your name is again?’ with an exchange of handshakes. It is all about being able to leave an impact on your audience, be it one person or a thousand people. 

STEPS TO BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SPEAKER: TIPS AND TRICKS

The following are key strategies and characteristics that define an effective public speaker and help you master the art of public speaking: 

  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE 

The beginning of successful public speaking is first of all understanding your audience. Vocabulary, tone and language unique to your audience is very important. There is no one-size-fits-all technique when addressing an audience. Your speech and mannerism when addressing a room full of teenage boys would be different from when addressing a room full of professionals at a conference. 

Knowing and being able to meet the needs of your audience is vital in public speaking. Specifically prepare your presentation to fit the demographic in the room in a manner that resonates with their preferences. This helps you to be able to adequately anticipate likely questions that may come from your audience, and you are not caught off guard. If you struggle with presentation as a public speaker, here are 6 tips to presenting a workshop effectively. You may also find our guide on how to present data for bespoke data presentation. 

  • UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION 

Note that you will address your audience visually before you address them verbally. This is because they see you before they even hear you. Your mannerism communicates your confidence levels to your audience before you even speak. Putting up a confident front with squared shoulders gives your audience the impression that you know what you are talking to them about, and they should listen and believe what you say.

The confidence of your audience in you puts you at ease and enables communication. Being able to maintain eye contact with your audience establishes rapport and conveys your sincerity. LibreTexts, in one extract from a book titled Interpersonal Communication: A Mindful Approach to Relationships,” specifically at chapter 5 ‘Nonverbal Communication’ stated the impact of nonverbal communication in presentation thus; 

 

  1. According to The Hearing Journal, experts in communication estimate about 70% of communication is nonverbal. However, due to other research studies suggesting that it is 90%, and because that is being deemed as too high; 80% is being suggested as the median range.
  2. Nonverbal communication has its values. Your audience is able to grasp what information you are trying to pass across, and through what signs they display, you will know if your message is well received. 
  3. Nonverbal communication is omnipresent. There is a lasting impression it leaves in your audience, even after you have finished addressing them, they can always see your gestures and understand your message better. 

 

  • DEFINE THE PURPOSE OF YOUR SPEECH 

What is the intended conclusion of your address; is it to persuade, inform, or entertain your audience? Knowing how to define the purpose behind your speech will give directions on the manner in which you address your audience. What would you like your audience to take away from the address? Let this drive the tone and content of your speech. Be able to address your audience in a manner that ensures you have passed across your intended message. 

  • BE PREPARED 

A farmer is only as prepared as the tools with which he goes to the farm. When preparing to address a room full of people or maybe even just one person, it is important that you know your stuff. Before you speak on anything at all or on any topic whatsoever, ensure that you have carried out extensive research on what you intend to speak about. This way you are prepared for whatever questions may be raised and not stuttering or scrambling for answers. 

  • STRUCTURE YOUR SPEECH 

When preparing to address an audience, you should have an outline for your speech. Prepare a structure that you will follow when speaking. With this, you have an arranged order in which you will flow. Avoid being distracted when speaking, however, with a structure or outline, it is easy to jump back on track when you deviate from the main points.  

With a structure, you don’t get confused easily and are able to maintain order. This ensures that your audience can follow you logically from the introduction to the conclusion. When creating a structure for your speech, always start with a captivating opening that captures the attention of your audience and closes with a memorable conclusion that reiterates the whole essence of your speech and leaves a lasting impression on the room. 

  • ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE 

When addressing a crowd, endeavor not to become a voice droning on in the background to your audience. Rather, depending on the content of your address and your audience demography, become a conversationalist. However, do not just engage expecting a certain response or receive questions to reply with tailored prepared answers. Listen to your audience and learn how their responses are valid to your topic. Keep them active and eager for the time you have with them. Foster a connection with your audience using humor or compelling anecdotes. Be authentic and relatable. Whether your speech is to a physical audience or virtually, you must strive to make your presentation interactive. 

  • PRACTICE 

As cliché as it may sound, practice makes perfect. Don’t expect to be a skilled public speaker after your first attempt. The more you speak, the better you become. Rehearse your speech multiple times before presenting it to your audience. Focus on sharpening your speech pacing and maintaining clarity. Practice is vital in building one’s confidence in speech delivery as a public speaker. Return to watch recordings of the speeches you have made and note areas for improvements and things that could have been done better. 

  • MANAGE NERVOUS TICKS 

Nerves are the assassinators of the best well-prepared speeches. It is normal to feel nervous when speaking to a large crowd of strangers, however, it is important to learn how to manage those nerves. As stated earlier, your confidence levels are always communicated to your audience depending on how much of it you let them see and this translates to how well your audience accepts your speech.

To help ease off nervousness, you may consider a joke in order to break the ice. Another tip we recommend is practicing your speech beforehand so well that it seems a part of you, this will help you reduce how anxious you are.

  • ACTIVELY SEEK IMPROVEMENT 

Public speaking is a skill that can be honed with training and guidance. That is why it is important to always seek improvements in the form of coaching and classes or constructive criticism. Join speaking clubs to help hone your speaking skills. Find a public speaking group for possible networking. Keep an eye out for conferences and workshops in your area and online, on platforms like Eventbrite and People Connect. Embrace opportunities that test your abilities and take you out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of public speaking tools

If you are looking for an international speaking organization where you get constant and immediate feedback on your public speaking skills, consider joining Toastmasters. Registration is easy and very affordable, and it also helps your networking.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, The characteristics of an effective public speaker extend beyond the ability to speak well or carry oneself with confidence. An Effective public speaker focuses less on themselves and more on their audience by learning how best to communicate their message in an impactful manner. With these strategies, even the most inept speaker can become a proficient public speaker. By embodying confidence, preparation, engagement, and practice, it is possible to master the art of public speaking to address an audience. 

 

Leave a Comment
Rating

0 Reviews

Related Blogs