For most people, public speaking is a daunting task, but whether we like it or not at some point in our life, it is inevitable that we will have to give a presentation or make a speech. Regardless of your industry, being an effective public speaker is crucial for anyone that aspires to a role in management.
Presenting skills and being confident are vital traits of all leaders. In fact, the ability to speak confidently in front of others will allow you to more plainly express your thoughts by both informing and inspiring your audience.
Studies show that confident public speakers are felt to be more trustworthy, credible, clever, and commanding. Davitt Corporate Partners created the infographic below that offers us some advice so that we can excel in our presentations.
A recent survey carried out revealed that after spiders and death, public speaking is what people fear the most. Whether we are confident or not, many times the outcome of our speech or presentation strongly affects what people think about us. This is why there is a lot of anxiety and concern surrounding public speaking.
However, with some practice and some tips, you too can leave a lasting impression on your audience. Even high-profile CEOs and world leaders credit their refined speech-making skills with practice.
So how can we become excellent speakers? Keeping the following in mind before your big presentation can really help the outcome of your speech.
Essentials Before Your Speech
- Check for clothing disasters.
- Rehearse well until you’re familiar – do not over practice or it will sound unnatural.
- Drink something 1½ and ½ an hour before your presentation.
- Relax before your talk – take a short walk to clear your head.
- Go to the bathroom right before your speech.
Advice From The Best
Mohammed Qahtani, the International Toastmaster Champion in 2015 has some useful advice for fellow presenters including determine your takeaway message and make it relevant throughout, speak to your audience on a personal level, play to your strengths, find a balance of emotions, practice as much as possible in front of an honest audience and visualize rather than memorize your speech.
Controversially, Qahtani advised public speakers to tell themselves that they’re better than their audience: they don’t need to be afraid of the audience because they are the ones admiring you.
In recent interviews, Qahtani has explained that his statement was taken out of context. In fact, Qahtani outlined that telling yourself you’re better than your audience is not about ego but more so that one of the greatest fears public speakers have is feelings of inadequacy – who am I to be presenting to this group of distinguished guests?
By allowing yourself to be on the same level as your audience, you will have greater confidence in yourself and it will shine through in your presentation.
Qahtani and many other well-known speech makers including President Obama and the late Steve Jobs have stated that they had given one hundred speeches before they were one hundred percent comfortable with their presentation skills.
How Can You Become an Excellent Public Speaker?
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