King of bollywood, Shahrukh Khan gave tips on public speaking to all, by saying, “My first rule of public speaking…if you don’t strike oil in 3 minutes…stop boring!” The ability to deliver a great speech in public is the skill, which is highly regarded. Just the knowledge of the subject is not enough to make your speech a success. There are many more ingredients to it. It’s the ability to inform and keep the audience interested, which marks the success of speech. Think of the last memorable talk or presentation you attended. So, do you have to rack your brains to remember one? Sadly, most talks are easy to forget because they lack the impact, necessary for making it memorable for audience. A great public speaker has the power to spellbind the audience, invoke emotions, and even trigger reactions from them. Mastering the art of public speaking is easy for some, while it’s a challenge for others. While some are born with this trait, others can develop it by acquiring certain skills. Here are some pointers, which will help you understand and acquire the skills needed for public speaking.
Essential Public Speaking Skills
Understand What You Want To Achieve
Before you start working on your speech or presentation, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
Who? - Who here stands for audience. What kind of audience you are addressing to? By answering this question, you will determine the objective of your talk keeping in perspective the audience. If your audience consists of school students, your priority should be to keep the content of your speech simple and interesting so that your audience can grasp it well.
What? – What here stands for what you wish to communicate via your talk or speech? If you are giving a talk on air pollution then you should mark down the topics you would like to cover under this, like causes, effects, and remedies of air pollution.
Why? In order to convert your audience into dedicated listeners, you need to know why they should listen to you. You should communicate to your audience, why you are speaking on the topic, and why it’s important for them to listen.Your audience should understand, that what you are speaking is something valuable and will be useful for them.
How? – How here stands for understanding the best way you can communicate your message. In this, the kind of language you will use will play an important role. Use language, which is simple and easy to grasp by your audience. The next important step, you need to do is to plan a beginning, middle, and the end of the content. You should follow a logical pattern, whenever you are speaking on a topic. If you are speaking about air pollution then it’s important to make audience aware about its causes before jumping to effects.
When? It is important for you to develop a sense of timing, when delivering a speech. While giving a speech, take effective pauses to make sure, that what you are speaking is being heard and absorbed by the audience.
Vital Public Speaking Skills
- Before beginning on a topic on which you have to give a speech, it is important to research the topic well. Good speakers always research before conveying their message.
- When it comes to wording your message, less is always more. There might be a variety of aspects to the topic you are dealing with but you can’t cover all in your short speech so give main points or highlights of the topic to your audience. If you are using slides in your presentation then limit the content of each slide to a few bullet points.
- Add facts, quotations, and statistics, to your speech. However, just don’t include them for the sake of using. They should effectively complement your ideas.
- For your audience to grasp the idea easily, it’s a good idea to add humor, stories, which connect well to your core idea. Or convey your idea wrapped in the form of story. Stories are easy to understand and are loved by all.
- Always remember that your opening words and closing words make the most of the impact on the audience. If your opening words are unable to bind the audience then you lose half the battle. Same is the case with the closing words. They should make an impact on the audience and force them to think on the topic you have just spoken about. So, while making a presentation, pay as much attention to opening and closing words as you pay to the body of the speech.
- While making a speech or presentation, it’s very important to connect with the audience. Your first step is to maintain an eye contact with the audience while delivering the speech. Your second step should be to interact with the audience. Ask questions to your audience, this will open the channel of discussion and your audience will get involved.
You can make your speech or presentation unforgettable, if you follow these useful tips:
- Understand the purpose of presentation.
- Be precise and concise.
- Use examples to bring key points of your speech to life.
- Don't talk too fast, when delivering the speech. Pauses play an effective role.
- Use a variety of vocal pace, tone, voice, and volume. This will make your speech effective.
- Don't stay stuck behind a podium. It’s essential to keep your body up-beat.