"How to Deliver a Better Speech"
Newsletter September 12, 2013
It seems as though virtually everyone cringes at the thought of having to give a speech or presentation. Public speaking is difficult for many of us, yet it is something we all need to do at one time or another. Why escape from something that could be a turning point in your career? The ability to be persuasive is a learnt skill – so learn it! Here are a few pointers that may assist you in delivering a stronger presentation.
1. Stay calm!
One of the very first points to remember when delivering a speech is to stay calm and relaxed. This is easier said then done, but it is important! The more relaxed you are, the more confident you will appear. In turn, the more confident you appear, the more influential you will be to your audience. Before you stand in front of the audience it may be helpful to take a few deep breaths and meditate to assist you in relaxing. You may have to trick yourself into staying calm, but do any means possible to stay composed. By the way, only you know you are panicking on the inside! Keep a "poker face" and the audience will never know. Don’t apologise or belittle yourself. Act like a winner and the audience will buy it. They are not wanting to listen to a loser, so don’t disappoint them – fake the confidence until it becomes natural to you.
2. Articulate your words
It is very important to speak clearly. People who mumble have a hard time successfully getting their message across. Be sure to speak clearly so that the audience understands what you are saying. Also, remember to choose words that are easily understood by your audience.
3. Be enthused
Everyone in the crowd gets excited when a speaker is full of energy and life! When you are delivering your speech be upbeat and enthusiastic. This will make the audience want to sit up and pay attention. Be sure to move around the room and use hand gestures to add to your presentation. It is more captivating then standing behind a podium while delivering the whole speech. If you can avoid the podium altogether, even better. You are better off using your whole body language, rather than restricting yourself behind an artificial barrier.
4. Watch your tempo
Be careful to speak at an even pace. When we are nervous we often speed up our speech. Take your time, use pauses and allow your audience some time to let the message sink in. Try not to speak too quickly, for ideas can get lost, and words can get mumbled. At the same time, speak at a fast enough pace to keep the audience's attention throughout the presentation. Inject energy into your voice when you wish to emphasis a key point.
And last but not least, remember that you were chosen to give this presentation because you are an authority on the topic. Try and have fun! If you know your material and are prepared for the presentation, you should be able to relax and do a wonderful job.