Most people would undergo a surgery without anesthesia than standing up in front of a crowd and make a speech, even if it is among the spears. Though the most efficient and effective way of getting noticed (or recognize) is to make a presentation or speech in front of a group of people that supports your knowledge, intelligence, and strengths. If the presentation is good people will not only notice your intelligence, also your presentation skills. The biggest fear a person faces is “What if I make a fool of myself?”
To be honest every speech is a prime opportunity to do something or say something that may come across as foolish, and this is true for every speaker to the novice to the most experienced. A joke may tank, a remark may be delivered incorrectly or you may take a false step. The experienced speaker just has some tools in their arsenal to minimize the risk of this happening. In this article, I am attempting to list few of these tools that I have come across while listening and talking to some very experienced speakers,
Neutral position. Glancing down on the note cards every now and often is distracting for the audience. Put the papers down and speak directly to the audience, trying to maintain an eye contact to engage the audience. If you need notes, write them down on big font and keep them in the lantern. If possible stand away from the lantern in a position that you are fully visible to the audience and also that you can figure out what is written in the notes. Don’t be worried if you had missed one point, comeback to it after you complete the point you are speaking now. Remember, you & only you know, that a point has been missed.
Too much. Don’t use too much of statistics to support your arguments, use those that are very meaningful and supports your point. Try to explain them in your own English.
Power of Pause. Make sure that you built in some pauses in your speech. This will help you to recollect your thoughts and your breath. This also gives audience the time to digest the information. The pauses if used correctly can be one of the most important tools in the arsenal.
Humour: Try to inject humour in your presentation. This can be a one-liner joke or a story. Humour warms up the audience and gets their attention. Be mindful of using the jokes, some jokes can annoy the audience.
Vocal Variety: Don’t speak in a monotonous tone. Vary your voices according to the message. Vocal variety is one of the most important part of a speech.
Body Language: Your body speaks more than you think of. As soon as the audience see you, they start deducting from every message you make. Try to stop yourselves making movement which indicates you are nervous. Try to convey the same message by your body as you are conveying. Suppose you are conveying a very bad message with a broad smile. How will the audience take? They will be confused. Practice your speech in the mirror to work out the body language.
Practice get evaluations: Practice your speeches in front of audiences who can give you proper feedbacks. There are few clubs like “Toastmasters” where you can practice your public speaking and also get evaluated. Try to incorporation of the audience feedback.
Relax: Last and not the least try to relax and enjoy the moment. Remember it is your moment of fame, you are the boss. Just enjoy the moment.