Public Speaking 101

As business owners, department managers, committee members, not for profit members or as leaders of any type of group, there will most likely come a time when you will be approached  and asked to give a speech or presentation. For some this is an exciting and flattering opportunity, but for others it can be down right terrifying. You know that it would be a huge benefit to your organization, but can you do it? The answer is always YES! And as we prepare for a presentation of our own, we’d like to share with you some useful tips to master your presentation.

  1. It’s important to know your room. Do a little research as to who your audience consists of. This can help you direct your speech in the right direction, whether you are addressing beginners or a knowledgeable crowd. Arrive early to set up, get a feel for the space and to test out the microphone and other equipment.
  2. This may seem obvious, but know your material. Practice, practice, practice your speech until you know it inside and out. If you are not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, it will only cause you to become and appear nervous. As you practice, add any revisions that you find necessary to help with a smooth speech.
  3. Remember to relax! Take some deep breaths and take your time.
  4. Imagine yourself speaking. Picture your voice being clear, loud and concise. Envision yourself giving a successful and flawless speech.
  5. Know that people want you to succeed. They’ve come to hear you speak, because they have an interest or they care about what you have to say. Your audience wants you to be stimulating, informative and even entertaining.
  6. Never apologize. Even if you are nervous or even if you do mess up your speech, the crowd doesn’t have to know. Apologizing only calls the audience’s attention to something they most likely won’t notice.
  7. Take any nervousness and turn it into positive energy. Power through those nerves and give the best speech that you can. The feeling of accomplishment is more than worth it!
  8. Gain prior experience. If you have the opportunity to practice your presentation in front of a smaller crowd, go for it! This can help to calm your nerves and provide the experience that you need to be confident in your presentation.
  9. Leave a lasting impression. Whether it’s a powerful ending statement or an astonishing statistic, leave the crowd in awe of something that they will not forget about your topic.
  10. Have fun! If your crowd can feel your positive energy and passion about your presentation topic, they too will join in, interact and have fun themselves.

We hope that these tips and tricks will help you to feel more prepared should you ever have to address a crowd.

Do you have tips and tricks that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments section! 



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