Some enjoy it, but most loathe it; public speaking is a notoriously difficult skill to master.
The idea of having to talk directly to a captive audience, without a place to hide if you make a mistake, may be enough to fill you with dread. However, suppose you can grasp the basic principles of how to deliver an effective public speech. In that case, it stands to reason that you’ll naturally become less nervous about performing what is commonly perceived to be a daunting task.
In the section below, we’ve provided ten useful pointers on how to overcome any lingering anxieties related to public speaking. Hopefully, these tips will enable you to feel far better equipped to independently address large groups of people, and compel you to embrace – rather than away from – such opportunities.
1. Consider your audience
When preparing the content of your speech, or thinking about what topics to discuss, it’s essential that you have the needs and requirements of your audience in mind. Look for examples of public speaking in places you wouldn’t expect. In the digital landscape, public performers must work to engage a specific audience in new and unique ways, which you can see most clearly in live-streaming spaces like the live games offered by online casinos. It may be worth considering how a live casino croupier engages their own viewership. The host (croupier) is aware that players, who are watching via a live online stream, are relying on them to provide specific information about the game, such as stake limits, time left to place chips, and bet outcomes.
2. Maintain eye contact
There’s nothing worse than listening to someone who has their head constantly buried in notes. In this scenario, words start to become muffled, and the speaker often gets too bogged down in reciting pre-written passages, rather than speaking in an open and natural way. Clearly, it’s impossible to hold eye contact with audience members for the full duration of your speech, but its important to intermittently make this connection.
3. Body Language
Remember, the audience isn’t just reflecting on the words you say, they’re also considering how you deliver your message. Positive body language suggests professionalism and transparency, which in turn builds trust in your capabilities and motives.
If you appear confident, those watching are far more likely to feel enthused about the subject matter you’re discussing.
5. Prepare for questions
Often, particularly when formally presenting an idea or concept, you may need to field some questions. Make sure you’ve thought about what you may be asked, and have some well-informed answers up your sleeve.
6. Be clear and articulate
Ensure you pronounce words properly and use concise language to express your points, particularly when addressing complex themes.
7. Practice makes perfect
If you’ve been asked to deliver a public speech or presentation, it’s more than likely you were forewarned well in advance. Use this time to practice what you’re going to say – friends and family members often make great fake audiences!
Make sure you speak for the optimal length of time – too long and you run the risk of coming across as boring or repetitive, too short leaves you vulnerable to missing out on key details.
9. Bring your personality!
Nobody likes listening to a monosyllabic robot who lacks energy and individualism – make sure your natural character shines through, and demonstrate your passion for the subject you’re discussing.
10. Ask for feedback
Last but not least, always ask your audience for feedback. This may seem a scary prospect, but understanding how they felt throughout your speech will help you to improve on weaker areas, and fine-tune your strengths.