One of the things that has come about from my becoming a blogger is a lot more public speaking. I had hosted training and workshops before for my 9-5 job, but the flurry of speaking opportunities stemming from blogging has not stopped yet. There are blogging conferences, workshops, and other events that require public speaking. And I do enjoy it. Lucky for me I was required to take classes on public speaking in both high school and college. And I’m a pretty outgoing person, so it does not bother me. I am sure that I usually talk too much though. LOL. But what if public speaking is new to you? Or what if it makes you nervous? Even if it’s not a new experience we can all use some tips on making speaking at events, classes and even just company meetings better. The below guest post gives us some useful tips.
We’ve all been at those meetings where workers are tossing ideas around and looking for new projects to focus on. Some ideas are out-of-the-box winners, but most take careful planning and preparation to propose and execute. If getting your ideas noticed at the next meeting is important to you, one of the simplest things you can do to help yourself is learn some best practices for public speaking. Here are some tips, and some applications, you can use to get it right on the big day.
Write Down Ideas
Preparing your speech begins before you even write it. Try keeping a notebook where you can write down ideas as they come to you, it helps give you more time to develop ideas. Don’t censor yourself either. Write down what comes to you and sort it out later. Apps like Evernote and Pages work well to document your thoughts.
Once you have a speech, rehearse it in the mirror or with a family member. Do this a lot. Practice the speech until you memorize it, then practice it without your script to make sure. Have someone follow along with the speech, correcting you on missed words as appropriate.
Take note of things like elapsed time, where and when you stutter, and other obstacles that come up. Ask for feedback if you have an audience to listen, or record yourself if you don’t. Any common smartphone or laptop webcam will usually work. Post your speech on YouTube after to help portray yourself as a thought leader.
Stick to Your Topic
Prepare your topic and stick to it. Avoid situations where you are forced to adlib, and find some way to improve those transitions. Your speech should flow naturally. If you’re stumbling on wording or a certain part, work on the script to see how you could explain your ideas more succinctly. Omnifocus can help you plan out the main ideas of your speech and organize your thoughts into notes.
Learn Your Audience
Most of the people you work with are familiar, but dealing with investors or clients adds a new element to the equation. These new members bring entirely different expectations that you need to tap into if you want your message to reach them. Think about:
- Why is your audience listening to you speak?
- Are you speaking at an event, or at a meeting?
- Will there be an over all theme to the meeting or event?
You can search LinkedIn for bios and company information, learn about school history and find other methods to connect personally through the Web.
Pay Attention to Your Voice
Public Speaking expert Arturo Alvarez Demalde says that one of the best ways to cut out filler words, like the “ums” and “ers” that we sometimes do when nervous, is with repeat rehearsals. Simply put, just iron them out. Record your voice if possible and listen to yourself. Concentrate on keeping your voice lower, speaking clearly and keeping your tone consistent throughout. Prepare some ice breakers if you feel you need to, and remember to breathe.
One of the last parts to train is one of the toughest parts to master. Pacing. Timing, pacing. These concepts are easy to take for granted by they bring your audience into the speech and get them excited about the material. Evernote can be used to record your voice, but you can Skype an interview to a friend if you want feedback on your body language.
Your goal with the speech is to give your ideas a platform, so devote the time it takes to convince your audience they are worth hearing.