You can participate in public speaking at conferences, events or any time that you intend to inform, influence or entertain an audience.
The main purpose of public speaking is to communicate your message to your target audience in an engaging way to encourage them to remember it. Public speaking can also help to build your profile as an expert in your industry and increase your target audience’s brand awareness.
Here are some tips to help you improve your public speaking skills.
- Prepare and practice
Before a public speaking opportunity it is essential to do some research into the topic you want to discuss and the main points you will communicate. The more knowledge you have about your topic the more confident you will be.
You can then thoroughly prepare your speech and then practice, practice, practice. When you know what you are talking about there will be less room for error.
- Develop a relationship with the audience
Connecting with the audience is a fundamental part of successfully communicating your message. Whether it’s through a captivating introduction, using humor or incorporating hand gestures, your message will be more impactful if the audience is receptive to what you are saying.
- Relax and deliver
When speaking to an audience it’s important to relax and be yourself which can often be difficult if you are nervous.
You can use relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing to calm your nerves, make sure you are prepared, practice plenty of times (see first tip) and be strong in your delivery.
You are more likely to engage the audience if you speak clearly, stand tall and maintain good eye contact.
- Know your audience
Before the public speaking opportunity you should find out information about your audience. This will help you to tailor your speech to their needs. For example, if the audience has no knowledge about your area of expertise then you need to use language they will understand, which means no jargon.
You also need to think about the purpose of the speech and the main points you want the audience to take away. You can then structure your speech to make sure the audience will receive your messages.
- Become a regular public speaker
The more you practice public speaking, the more successful you will be. With practice you can also learn how to control your nerves and become more confident.
Start by speaking at small events and then build up to bigger conferences. Accept any opportunity possible to practice your public speaking and believe in what you are saying. The more practice you receive the better your public speaking will become and you will be more successful in delivering your message.
Successful public speaking involves preparation, the ability to connect with the audience, a strong delivery, practice and tailoring your speech to your target audience.
These tips will ensure that your audience will be informed, your messages will be clear and the purpose of your speech will be achieved.