Ever wondered how a person can stand so confidently before an impossibly-large audience so calmly? Ever raised the question as to how a person can be so confident, fluent and natural at speaking in front of people who he has never even met before? Ever sighed sadly thinking about how you always manage to make a faux pas before everyone in the room while the others are so superb at talking? Well, if your answers are all affirmative, then friend, you have landed on the right place.
This article is devoted to some tips and methods that you can follow to become fantastic public speakers and ace this game of oration.
3 magical letters; USP– USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. This pointer is the first and most important one to become a pro at public speaking because this pointer teaches the speaker the art of self-acceptance. The person on the stage must remember that every individual in this world is unique. You can imitate someone, but can’t be them. So it’s better to accept yourself and your way of talking rather than sulking on not being someone else. Take inspiration, but ultimately, do your thing. There are 7 billion ways of talking, and your way of talking is only one. Know your worth and talk the way in which you are comfortable, no matter what the world says.
Write a good speech- writing a good speech is tough if you are clubbing it with public speaking. Firstly, starting off with something creative like a quote, poem, couplet or haiku draws the attention of listeners more than a normal-Good Morning. Secondly, including rhetoric questions, humour, variation in mood, apt pauses, pop references, stats or even anecdotes decorates your speech. Lastly, having a good ending or conclusion which makes the audience crave for more or be just satisfied is necessary. For this, an unnecessarily long speech should be avoided and the conclusion should be off-beat and quirky for a long lasting impact.
Practice– you might have pondered-over the first tip and gathered the courage to give P.S a shot, your way. But, never forget the golden rule-PRACTICE. No way of public speaking in this world is unique if your signature is forgetting your lines everytime on stage. Practice for as long as you can. Yes, you can still forget or fumble even after practicing for as long as forever, but atleast you gave it your best shot and can do better with time.
Premortem of the speech-be the most ruthless critic of yourself before speaking in public. Edit your speech mercilessly and work on it as many times as you have to to match it with your version of perfection.
Avoid heavy meals/coffee before a speech-do not go on stage after having a sumptuous meal like you’re never going to eat again! Similarly, avoid intake of caffeine. Since you are already excited for your speech, caffeine will only make you excessively hyper and not really help. PR Daily recommends the BRAT diet system before a speech-bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. If you consume an oily, heavy or caffeine dominated diet, you are bound to make your speech memorable for the wrong reasons.
Power Pose-power posing is an effective way to boost your confidence before a speech. Power posing has been scientifically proven to release the testosterone hormone in our body which makes us feel more confident and strong.
Cactus Exercise-to prep yourself before a speech, find a deserted corner or an empty room on the backstage and do the cactus exercise. Raise your hands straight, then bring them down, fold your elbows and shake your hands. Release your stress, cacti style!
Dress to Impress-according to an article by Great Speech.co, the audience before you silently judges you on the base of your appearance even before you speak a word. To make an impact, looking fit for the occasion must be among the top priorities. Choosing your outfit on the basis of weather, occasion, practicality, comfort and venue is the challenge. Wearing bright colors for a music launch is apt, but not for a business venture. Similarly, wearing heels for an auditorium event is classy, but not practical for a garden tea party. Another aspect of dressing well is the Halo Effect. It is a tendency of the human brain to automatically duplicate positive impressions formed for a person in one area, to another area. It can also be termed as a cognitive bias. So, if you have created a positive impression on the audience because of your appearance, they are more likely to like your speech and even forgive you for any mistake you made in contrast to a negative or so-so first impression.
Connect with the crowd– after you have made a dashing first impression, it is your spontaneity which will make you the star of the event. Observe the crowd, insert your punches, pauses, oohs and aahs while keeping the nature of your audience in mind. Let your eyes wander in every direction of the venue and let yourself interact with the audience to keep their attention. Keep in mind, the audience has the attention span of less than a snail’s minimum speed-think like them to keep them interested.
Body Language-the body language you use whilst you are delivering a speech is 4 times as impactful as all other aspects of public speaking. Holding your chin up, a straight backbone, maximum eye-contact and the right facial expressions at the right time give you the upper hand in P.S.
Lastly, you must keep in mind that great orators are not born, they are made. And that is exactly what you need to do-make yourself.