Public speaking is simply the act of talking in front of a group of people.
It is deeply rooted in civilizations across the globe. The spoken word is of great value and it has been for centuries. This fundamental method of communication has helped mankind progress through the ages.
Speaking in public is an art. Whether the group is small or large many people find the process completely overwhelming. Effective presentations require clear delivery that includes proper inflection, pauses, and emphasis. Some people seem to have the knack for oral presentation while others struggle with this type of activity.
Natural talent does help. However, effective public speaking can be achieved through research and diligent practice. The art of oral presentation is one that can be mastered with the right methods and persistence.
There is one great secret that makes some speakers really shine in front of a group and it isn’t a magic pill that makes you instantly ready to stand up and dazzle the crowd. It’s a very simple process that you probably already know a lot about. It’s just simple, old-fashioned hard work and preparation.
The further in advance, you can start getting ready for a presentation, the better your public speaking appearance will be. You know that feeling of terror that you experience when you stand in front of a crowd. Well, you may not be able to pinpoint why that feeling comes upon you because who can think when terrified? But many times, it’s because you aren’t completely prepared.
If you put the work in on your presentation, it will make all the difference in the world when you stand up to give your presentation. First, make sure the content meets your standards. You should make that speech compelling and fascinating to you. And if that presentation is full of great material that it not only fascinates you but you will be eager to get up there and share what you know with this crowd. That eagerness to speak is a very refreshing feeling when it replaces that terror you felt when you did not work hard in advance to make sure the material was well developed in advance.
Your audience will notice that big change in your attitude too. Enthusiasm is contagious and if you get up in front of them bubbling with anticipation because what you have to share is just that cool, they will be eager to hear it. It’s like when someone says to you, “Hey, want to know a secret?” You’re dying to hear that secret. That is the attitude you will see in your audience when you get up there not only well prepared but excited to tell them what is in that outline.
The more you have that outline and the details of your presentation in your mind, the more confident you will be in front of a crowd. If you have that presentation virtually memorized, when you begin to speak, you will look at your audience more and only have to glance at your outline to stay on track with where you want to be next. That is a terrific skill to develop and huge benefit when speaking to the crowd because you have that material down pat in your mind and you always have a destination throughout your talk.
It will take some work to get to that level of confidence in your material. Rehearsals of your presentation help a lot. Prepare a dynamic opener that puts the problem statement into the minds of the crowd and then proceeds to solve that problem. Also, know the navigation plan of your presentation and plan the transitions from point to point. That will help you not get stuck in one part of the talk and not have awkward transitions, which will make you and then your crowd nervous.
Finally, plan how you will conclude. There is a conclusion you want your audience to reach. Make sure you know the critical points and what parts of your talk are “optional” or there for illustration or to fill time. In that way, you know where to cut if time runs short and you will still get to your point and close strong.
If your talk has good content, enthusiasm, good points to lead up to solving the problem and closes strong, not only will you feel great about it, your audience will applaud the job you did and won’t that be a nice way to end a public speech?