How to become a great public speaker

By Maryam Dodhy on
August 28, 2017
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In Quick Tips, we recently talked about how to give a killer presentation. A great presentation depends strongly on how compelling your story is, how impactful your visuals are, and how much you interact with your audience. However, another thing that determines the success of your presentation is your ability to speak well. But a lot of people, usually new speakers, suffer from stage fright and tend to freeze up in front of an audience.

Mark Twain very famously said, “There are two types of speakers: Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” So, essentially, everyone suffers from the anxiety of speaking in public. Those who look confident have just gotten better at hiding their anxiety. Before you’re about to give a speech or talk, you need your brain to lie to the butterflies in your stomach that you’re going to nail it. But of course, this isn’t going to ensure that you’ll become a public speaker.

Here we have for you the only three tips you need to stick to in order to get better at speaking in front of an audience. Keep in mind that these tips are for beginners but can be used by anyone including business executives, startup founders, and even politicians.

Keep it simple

Public speaking is all about building a connection with your audience. And you won’t be able to do that if your talk is boring, has complex jargon, or difficult words. You need your audience to stay with you and for that, it is very important that you keep your speech/talk simple. Before giving the talk, make sure you understand the topic clearly only then can you ensure that your audience understands you too. For beginners, it also helps if you write your speech/talk yourself. If the words are your own, you are bound to stutter less.

Rehearse before the big show

Once you know what you’re going to say, start rehearsing it. When I first started giving speeches, I would stand for hours in front of the mirror and would see myself give the speech. This is a great way of mending your flaws and as a plus, you memorize your speech as well which also contributes to a smooth flow of words on the big day.

Show your passion

What is the one thing people remember Benazir Bhutto or her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for? They knew how to get the audience’s passion pumping. And they did so by pouring into the audience their own passion. If your audience thinks you’re not enthusiastic about your own topic, they would lose interest. So to keep the attention of the audience toward you, keep your speech/talk energetic. So if you want to win over investors, win a startup pitch, grab the top spot in a speech competition, or even just keep the audience from dozing off, get the passion flowing.

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