I wish someone had shared these public speaking tips with me long ago! Communication is one of the most valuable life skills we use every day. Whether we speak to 1, 100 or 1000 people, the way we communicate can be extremely powerful, but it can also be detrimental.
There was a time when public speaking was one of my greatest fears; however, to prepare for Miss South Africa the second time around, I had to improve my public speaking skills drastically. To date, I haven’t stopped working on this skill!
Do you perhaps have to give a speech soon? If so, I would like to share seven of the most valuable public speaking tips and steps I’ve learned with you today.
Life is filled with stories, good ones and bad ones. The better we know ourselves and our stories, the more people we can inspire through communication. Before starting to write your speech, identify some of the stories, you would like to share.
Pro Tip: Brainstorm, write down and reflect on some stories you would like to share with your audience.
Know whom you are talking to. Know their demographics, what their specific needs are, what is important to them, and how you can help them. Attentively listen to our audience and get to know them.
Pro Tip: Do thorough research on your audience before writing your speech.
Think of how you can add value to the lives of your audience. Ask yourself these questions, “What can your audience learn from you?” and “What expertise can you share with them?”. Once you have identified your message, you can start drafting your speech.
Pro Tip: Remember always to limit your message to one central theme.
Knowing your stories, your audience, and the message you want to bring across is critical. However, the most important thing is to talk about your own experiences. You can’t talk about what you haven’t experienced.
Pro Tip: Choose the life-story relevant to your message and infuse one of your life stories into the message.
Prepare for your speech properly by writing it down in advance. Take your time editing your speech, getting comfortable with it, and knowing it by heart. Then it is time to speak! Get your audience interested by asking interesting questions. Get their attention and keep their attention by progressively heading towards a valuable point. Speak their ‘language’ by using the exact words and jargon they would use and use metaphors they can relate to. Tell your story in such a way that the audience can paint a mental picture while you speak.
Pro Tip: Constantly be aware of the pace at which you speak. Remember to speak slowly and make sure that every word is audible. Every word you say is essential.
Gift your audience with a lightbulb moment. Challenge their mindset. Give them a wake-up call. Offer them a different way of looking at the world!
Pro Tip: Get your audience to think about what you are saying. Not only while you are delivering your speech, but for weeks after.
The best message is one people feel they want to share with others. Make your story one that is worth sharing.
Pro Tip: Speak from the heart and it will almost always touch others.
I can almost guarantee that when you spend the time mastering the above 7 steps, your public speaking skills could drastically improve. I also created a YouTube video with more detail about these seven steps, and you are more than welcome to watch it here:
PS: See if you can identify some of the above steps in my YouTube video 😊
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