Public speaking is an important, albeit challenging, skill to master. Regardless of your position and title, it is crucial that you are able to communicate your ideas and opinions across to different people. Here are 3 tips that will help better your ability to speak in public.
Tip 1: Familiarise yourself with your environment
Research your audience – who are they? What are their viewpoints and concerns on the matter? Not only will doing this lay the groundwork for your speech, it will also you help you to anticipate and prepare for potential questions that members of the audience will raise during the Q&A session.
If possible, take a tour and practice at the location where you will be delivering your actual speech. Make a mental note of your physical surroundings – the lighting, seating arrangement and acoustics of the place. Take these into consideration when preparing the delivery of your speech.
Tip 2: Practice!
As with many other things in life, practice does make perfect when it comes to speaking in public. Once familiarized with your script, make it a point to rehearse through it. You can consider standing in front of a mirror or recording yourself. While you might cringe at the thought of having to watch yourself speak, doing this will help you pick up on your weaknesses immediately and address them. Alternatively, consider enlisting the help of a family member or trusted friend to watch you speak and provide constructive feedback on your performance.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with general flow and main points of your script rather than memorizing it word-for-word. Thus, if you lose your train of thought midway through, you will not have to scramble to think of the exact word as per your script but rather, recall the main point and talk from there.
Tip 3: Keep your cool
You may have spent hours preparing for your speech but you can still trip up during the actual event. Keep this possibility in mind during the delivery. If you forgot a line, think you spoke a little too fast or feel your voice quivering, take a deep breath and carry on. Chances are, if you act like it did not happen, your audience is less likely to pick up on the mistakes.
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