17 Effective Public Speaking Tips and Tricks
When you think of impressive public speakers, they have their passion for their topic.
So the most important thing you can do is to get fired up about your topic. Find an angle that excites you, and the rest will come.
Here are the 17 Effective Public Speaking Tips that can help you get much better for your next presentation:
- Define Your End Goal
The first thing to do when preparing a speech is to define your end goal. What do you want the audience to do after they leave the room? What information should they walk away with?
- Be a Giver, Not a Taker
Once you’ve defined your end goal, build a presentation that offers real value to your audience, regardless of whether they pursue your product or service. Make any business pitches subtle and at the end of your presentation.
- Make Slides an Aid, Not a Crutch
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends using keywords, instead of sentences or paragraphs on your slides. This helps your audience focus on your message.
PowerPoint Do’s and Don’ts
Use legible type size.
Use key words to help audience focus on your message.
Make every word and image count.
Limit the number of slides.
Don’t overuse special effects.
Don’t use more than eight words per line or eight lines per slide.
Don’t use too many words or include non-essential information.
Avoid hard-to-read color combinations.
- Practice (But Really, Practice)
Maybe you’ve rehearsed your presentation by yourself, but haven’t run it by anyone else.
Make sure you’re practicing your presentation in front of several groups of people.
Ask for honest, critical feedback on the good, the bad, and the ugly of your presentation.
- Eat Well & Burn Cortisol
Eating a protein-packed snack before a public speaking engagement boosts your energy, focus, and mood. Exercise one to three hours before you speak. You’ll feel less stressed and your audience will benefit from your focus.
- Meet Audience Members First
It’s always a good idea to meet a few of your audience members before taking the stage.
This is a great way to calm pre-presentation jitters.
- Give Yourself Time to Acclimate
Many speakers begin talking immediately after being introduced or walking onstage. Instead, try approaching the stage in silence. This gives you time to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and get used to being in front of the audience.
- Don’t Open with an Excuse
Don’t begin your presentation with an excuse. That makes the time about you, when it should be about your audience and how you can provide value to them.
- Be Conversational
How do you make the most of that first few seconds of your presentation? First, be conversational. Use inflection in your voice and engage in natural, friendly body language.
- Rejoice in the First Mistake
I wouldn’t recommend calling out the first mistake you make in front of your audience. Simply acknowledge your first mistake and view it as permission to relax and move on with your presentation.
- Tell Stories & Make It Personal
Your audience is more likely to remember and share the stories you tell than the stats and figures you pack your slides with. Make your presentation personal, and remind them that you’re human.
- Channel Nervous Energy into Positive Energy
If you’re not excited about your presentation, why would your audience be? One way to channel excitement into your public speaking is to transform nervous energy into positive energy.
- Speak Slowly & Pause Often
Speaking slowly make it easier for your audience to understand. Routinely pause during your presentation can allow you to refocus and get attention from the audience.
- Repeat Audience Questions
Try to repeat audience questions. It gives everyone a chance to hear what was asked. Repeating audience questions unsure that you’ve understood what the question is and give you an extra few moments to gather your thoughts.
- Reinforce Key Points
Repeating key points at multiple times throughout your presentation helps your audience retain what’s most important.
- Use Video & GIFs Sparingly
When appropriate, throw in a GIF or video. But make sure it aids in your storytelling, instead of distracting from it. A truly engaging public speaker will be able to present impactfully without gimmicks.
- Always End Early & Say Thanks
Whether your audience gave you five minutes of their attention or an hour, end early and say, “Thank you.” Be respectful and always end early especially if you’re expecting a longer Q&A period.
Check here to download the shorter version of 17 Effective Public Speaking Tips and Tricks in pdf format for your easy reference.
Public speaking is an art, and one that can take years to perfect. Join Toastmasters and find a club that you like to practise your speeches in a friendly environments. You are welcome to visit our Kampong Ubi Toastmasters Club if you are living in Singapore.