Whether you are a seasoned veteran or are taking the stage for the first time you can be sure that preparation is the only way to succeed when the curtains are drawn and all lights are on you.
There are few skills that will bring you more opportunity into your life than the ability to speak well in front of an audience.
Here are the top 4 public speaking tips, to help you make the best impression possible and an unforgettable, positive, impact on your audience.
1.Structure your speaking material into three sections
Grabber (hook the audience with something, a fact, a stat it doesn’t matter just grab their interest), middle and close (always aim to motivate your audience to take action in your close, otherwise your speech is meaningless). Importantly, know your material! Get really interested in the topic. Feel excited about what you are talking about.
2.View public speaking as the performance it is
When it comes down to it, public speaking is just a performance, there is no real difference between your public speech and an actor taking the stage. If you are troubled by speaking anxiety, make sure you view your speech as the performance it is. You don’t have to be you or be afflicted by any social anxieties, you can be someone else. You can pretend to be someone, calm and collected – someone who gets thrills from public speaking.
Being someone else, even if only for a costume party, is a liberating feeling. It helps you let your guard down and forget about any anxious hang-ups you may have. It’s how actors commit to the day-to-day limelight, so why can’t you do it too?
3.It’s not about you it’s about your audience
If you take public speaking very seriously, because it’s your profession, or because it scares the hell out of you, it can cause you to be a selfish public speaker and only focus on how you come across. This is a big mistake.
It can be easy to think “will this make me look stupid?” or “what can I do to look better?” But, public speaking is not about you. It’s all about your audience.
Instead of thinking how you will look and sound, focus everything on your audience. Think about your crowd. Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what you would want to hear and see if you were them. It will not only make your speech better but it will also make the whole public speaking affair a lot easier because you are turning the spotlight from you to your audience.
4. Convert nervousness into excitement
Have you ever realized just how similar nervousness and excitement are as feelings, clammy hands, pounding heart and tense nerves are symptoms of both. What if you told yourself that you weren’t nervous and instead, you were excited? Well, it’s that simple according to award-winning TED speaker Simon Sinek. A few years ago Sinek noticed that reporters interviewing Olympic athletes before and after competing were all asking the same question. “Were you nervous?” And all of the athletes gave the same answer: “No, I was excited.”
Sinek says before you walk on stage you should say to yourself out loud, “I’m not nervous, I’m excited!” “When you do, it really has a miraculous impact in helping you change your attitude to what you’re about to do,” Sinek says.