Now is the time to take on the thing everyone is most afraid of, which is public speaking. Fortunately, this article will help you cope with this very trying event. Learn how to succeed in your next public presentation without imagining your history teacher in a swimsuit …
Part 1 of 3: Prepare for the speech
Step 1. Choose the message you want to get across
You should be able to summarize your speech in one sentence, maybe two. This is actually the summary of your speech. This is the theme with which you will begin your speech and which you will come back to to conclude. It is clear, and so everyone will be able to remember it. And it's also easier for you!
So what's your theme? Did your teacher give you a particular topic to cover? If so, what do you think? Is this a personal matter? You will be able to deliver a brilliant speech with a theme and two or three personal experiences related to it
Step 2. Identify your audience
Your speech will depend entirely on it. You won't say the same things whether you're talking to 4-year-olds or CEOs. Therefore, know who you are going to talk to. Here are some things you can look at.
- Who are they ? Age? Gender? The beliefs ?
- Do they know the topic you are going to talk about, and if so, to what extent? This will allow you to set the number of specialized terms you will use. If they are unfamiliar with the topic, avoid using complicated terms.
- Why did they come? To learn something or because they have to attend your presentation? Perhaps they are genuinely interested in the topic of your speech?
- How long have they been there? If you are the 17th or 18th speaker, take that into account too!
Step 3. Drive out negative thoughts
Ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen to you. If you don't meet their expectations, people will look at you strangely and nothing more! Think about what you will gain by overcoming your fear of public speaking …
Step 4. Research your topic
If you are going to speak for yourself, congratulations! You are probably fully aware of all the details that concern you. If not, you better start your research as soon as possible. Examine the pros and cons! If your audience sees flaws in your argument, your presentation will not be of good quality.
- Make at least three arguments to support your message, that is, the summary you are working with. Also state the contrary argument, but do not dwell on it.
- You can complicate it, but not exceed the limit that your listeners can tolerate. Try not to use jargon and technical terms to prevent your audience from getting confused and feeling overwhelmed.
Step 5. Use humorously anecdotes and make metaphors
A boring speech riddled with inappropriate data and statistics is unlikely to have an effect on your audience. If your presentation is like this, you will only be able to hold the attention of your listeners for a few seconds. Alas, human nature is so made. To avoid this situation, choose stories that are easy to follow and keep your listeners interested with metaphors and antitheses. The livelier your presentation, the better your chances of success.
- You can obviously show your sense of self-deprecation, that is, make fun of yourself. Again, it comes down to knowing your audience and the structure of your presentation. The style of a wedding speech? It is totally recommended. Are you going to present the budget reallocations to your company president? Probably not.
- An antithesis consists in opposing two ideas. In his speech about Barack Obama, Clinton said, "I want to name a person who seems detached on the surface, but whose heart beats for America." A really punchy sentence.
Step 6. Use powerful adjectives, verbs, and adverbs
A little more about your style! Take the following sentence: "the fishing industry is bad" and replace it with: "the fishing industry has frankly harmful practices. Even a simple sentence like "we can solve the problem" will get more attention when you change it to "we can solve the problem quickly". Your listeners may not remember exactly what you said, but they will remember the emotion you aroused in them.
- Use strong verbs for descriptions, not adverbs.
- Also remember to be active. A phrase like, "if we have the workforce, we can make the change happen" will carry more weight if you replace it with, "we can make the change, if we have the workforce." Make them jump out of their seats!
Step 7. Go straight to the point
One speech that is all the rage on YouTube and not bad at all is the one Steve made in 2005 with his speech at the graduation ceremony at Stanford. He began by saying, “Today I am going to tell you three stories that have unfolded in my life. " That's all. It was not very complicated. These are only three stories. And he managed to grab the public's attention immediately.
So, avoid procrastination, hesitation, apologies, “I wonder…” and thanks. Simply get straight to the point. Go straight there. Don't talk about painting, but get to the heart of the matter and create an image for your listeners. They have come to listen to you talk about your theme, not to hear you talk about your past and present feelings. Hold their attention and start your speech on the hats of the wheels
Step 8. Write your presentation
Avoid improvising a speech because it is complicated work. Write your speech, work the passages from one argument to another. Make sure it covers your entire theme and has everything you need to say. Otherwise, resume composing your speech until you reach the desired level!
- When you have ideas, write them down or use an app to write them down.
- You should clearly formulate an introduction, topic body and conclusion. The introduction and conclusion should be brief and cover your topic, the conclusion being a repeat of your introduction. And the subject's body? Well, that's all the rest.
Part 2 of 3: Practice Public Speaking
Step 1. Write down your main points
Now that you have identified and marked everything you will have to say on a piece of paper, write down the main points of your speech. Examine your listing and make sure it covers your entire topic. How does the whole work together? What are the parts that you need to improve?
Go with your file where you have a good grasp of the issue. The more comfortable you are in giving your speech, the better your performance in the gallery
Step 2. Memorize the text of your speech
You think it's really superfluous, but finally admit it's a good idea. If you memorize your speech, you can polish your style by making eye contact with your listeners and focusing on your gestures and inflections in your voice. Don't worry if you don't have enough time. If so, take advantage of it.
- Memorize the most important points like a quote, a funny story or a strong phrase so that it is pronounced exactly as you expect it to be.
- Don't feel like you have to go there with your bare hands. Of course not, because you will have your file with you. If you have a blackout, you can take a look at your notes and expand on your idea. It is for this reason that you have practiced several times using your card.
Step 3. Present your speech to someone
This is a good idea for at least two reasons.
- First, it allows you to get used to putting up with someone's gaze while you speak. Public speaking is often quite scary and therefore if you can gain some experience you will be more successful in controlling yourself.
- Get your listeners to really pay attention to what you are saying. At the end of your speech, ask them if they have any questions for you. What are the flaws in your argument? What are the points that they did not understand?
Step 4. Practice in front of a mirror and in the shower
Really, you have to practice where you can. These two points will be very helpful to you.
- Practice in front of a mirror to improve your body expression. What are the attitudes that go with your words? How do you feel about your breaks and what do you do during that time?
- Practice in the shower because it is probably the only time of the day when you will be able to deliver your speech without stress. Did you have a blackout somewhere? If so, revise your text.
- Also practice while you do other things like mowing the lawn, driving or walking your dog.
Step 5. Time your speaking time
You probably have an idea of the length of your speech. You may have been given a speaking time not to exceed or a number of words that you must respect. Strive to be above the minimum requested, but without exceeding the maximum, this way if you go fast or on the contrary if you slow down your pace, you will stay within the standards.
Part 3 of 3: public speaking
Step 1. Think about your attitudes and your body language
Standing with both feet in the same hoof is really not a good position for speaking out and captivating an audience. You should not behave sluggishly either. It is best to stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and to act as natural as possible.
- Your speech expresses some emotion, doesn't it? Take advantage of these moments to give your speech the necessary impetus. You use your hands every day to express your emotions, and your speech is no exception. You still communicate with people, but on a larger scale. Even if the scale is different, the gestures remain the same.
- Watch speakers on TV or YouTube to see how they move their hands and bodies while speaking.
Step 2. Use props
You may have heard this woman talk about schizophrenia and the cerebral hemorrhage she had? The talk was broadcast on the TED website in 2008. No? Now, after talking about schizophrenia and the internal bleeding she had, she showed her audience a real human brain with the spinal cord and everything. Damn it. Watch the video and you will hear the reactions of the audience. This is called presenting a living image.
However, be careful in employing such means. Avoid showing off to illustrate each of your sentences. Stick to a striking accessory like this brain. Do you want to tell the story of the last rescue operation your father carried out in a burning building? Show off his burnt fire helmet. Do you want to talk about your meeting with Jean Dujardin during his visit to the cinema in your neighborhood? Show your entry ticket when you talk about your fainting after meeting him. Use your accessories sparingly, but wisely
Step 3. Identify the best times to show pictures
A PowerPoint presentation can add a lot to a speech, at least for some topics. However, make sure it's appropriate. You seek to hold the attention of your listeners and not to stun them by your beautiful images.
- Show diagrams to illustrate your arguments, especially when they are complex. Images retain more attention than narration, however masterful it may be.
- Don't stand in front of your pictures while talking! You are familiar with their content, so keep watching your audience instead of speaking on screen.
Step 4. Avoid browsing your audience
Rather, pick people from your listeners and pretend to talk to them. Some speakers think it's best to glance around the audience, but if that intimidates you, you can stare from the back of the room. No ! Resist! Think of a personal conversation. Catch the eye of a person in the audience here and there, etc. Watch your listeners one after the other instead of giving them the impression that you are ignoring them.
Step 5. Change the tone of your voice
In general, you will speak calmly and clearly with a normal speed. This is your best attitude. But consider varying your tone of voice to keep your audience's attention at a good level and deliver a great speech. Try to highlight the parts of your speech that excite you the most! Speak clearly and with conviction! Slap your fist on the table if you have to! However, some parts will be as catchy as a lullaby. Interrupt your speech to move the audience and increase the intensity of their reactions. You will do this more easily verbally than by reading text. Now you have it all figured out.
Also express your emotion by speaking. Don't hesitate to chuckle a little to get upset with grief or frustration. After all, you are a human being. Your audience is looking for someone with human qualities, not a robot who spells out words mechanically
Step 6. Don't forget to take breaks
Well-placed silences are as powerful as words. Take the following sentence: “Dihydrogen monoxide killed 50 million people last year. 50 millions ! Let the information take its toll. Now imagine the same sentence, but say with a pause after each point. Sounds much better, doesn't it?
Take your text and spot the pauses in pencil if that helps. Draw a slash to indicate the location of a break. Once the break is marked, you will know where to take it
Step 7. Conclude by reiterating your post and thanking your audience
You made your speech without any problem and all you have to do is conclude. Stay on topic, take a good look at your listeners, and thank them with a smile. You can opt for a simple formula, for example " Thank you ", then leave the podium.
It’s sensational! Take a deep breath. You succeeded. Next time you will be giving a public speaking talk. Why were you so nervous earlier when we started talking about the matter?
- Record your speech and listen to it a few times until you get used to your voice and the way you speak.
- Remember that no one in the world would trade their place for that of the speaker. Keep calm and imagine your listeners as family or friends.
- Take a deep breath, be confident, smile and walk up to the podium.
- Prepare to answer questions. If you're caught off guard, don't lose your temper. Be honest and tell your listeners that at the moment you don't have an answer, but that you will do the necessary research. Don't make up answers.
- Do not blaspheme or swear. Just because you are championing an idea doesn't mean everyone has to agree with you. There are endless words to express yourself with imagination without offending your audience.
- Watch speakers on stage or on the internet to learn how they turn stories and facts into speech. It will also allow you to find the style that suits you best.