By Elaeshah Shallow-Campbell
Fellow and Features Writer
Public speaking can either be a natural talent or a developing skill. No matter the case, getting it right will be a huge help to your professional and social life. Using these 5 top tips will give you the best chances of impressing not only your audience, but yourself.
My top 5 public speaking tips!
1: Know your stuff
You’ll be a better public speaker if you know your topic and audience beforehand. You should do your research, make notes and memorise some killer facts or analogies to show that you are prepared and knowledgeable. Depending on who your audience is, you will need to adjust how you talk. Professional audiences tend to require a more formal tone whereas social listeners can handle informal phrases more readily. Consider other factors such as age and background.
2: Dot your i’s and cross your t’s
In a verbal sense, make sure your pronunciation is on the money! Make life easier for your listeners by making yourself easy to understand. It will also give you a great feeling of pride. Even David Beckham needed to learn how to speak clearly, now he executes interviews with diamondlike precision.
3: Channel your energy
Nerves are just built up energy, to get rid of them you need to use that energy. A great way to use it is to convert it into buzz! Public speaking isn’t a game of musical statues. During your speaking session, put that energy into your audience by way of animating yourself. Smile, laugh, joke, get up and move! This will help you to catch and keep the attention of your listeners while calming your nerves.
4: Be aware of your posture
Your posture reflects your state of mind. Whether you’re sitting or standing, keep your back straight. Not only is this good practice in everyday life but when speaking you must project you voice over the audience. If you slouch, your lungs can’t give your voice the power and bass it needs to carry across the entire room. Also, if your posture resembles the Hunchback of Notre Dame, you will give the impression of being intimidated and you will lose engagement from your listeners. Make people notice that you are about to speak before you even open your mouth.
5: Be grateful
No matter how many people are listening to you, they cared enough to give you their time. That’s a pretty big deal! Always thank your audience for listening. This is especially important if you were talking for a while. Being an attentive listener is not always easy, give credit where it’s due. It’s polite and will let your audience know that you are approachable and humble.