Public Speaking 101: Commanding Attention and Getting Results
Public speaking is one of the most common fears around, and it can manifest in everything from minor nervousness all the way to completely immobilizing fear and panic. If you are one of the many who suffer from this, take heart in the fact that: a.) You’re not alone and b.) There are ways to get over this angst, or at least take steps to minimize its effects. The message of your presentation will be conveyed and you’ll leave the podium feeling confident and ready tackle whatever comes next. Here are some guidelines to assist with these goals.
Do the Background Work
In order to deliver a standout presentation with the target of commanding attention and getting results you need to have interesting and engaging information to impart to your audience. Without this, you’ll likely lose your listeners within the first few minutes of your talk. Whomever you’re speaking to, and however large a group, you can’t underestimate the importance of having done good research. Don’t just limit this task to when you’re specifically preparing for something, either. Instead, make it a habit to continually collect and put aside information related to your industry from a variety of locations. You may find useful data from magazines, movies, television programs, newspapers, in-person interviews, books, and many more resources. That way, once you have a specific topic to discuss, you’ll already have a head start on some material to include for commanding attention and getting results.
Outline, Draft and Edit
Once you have a collection of notes with points you want to include in your talk, you are ready to begin the process of putting it all together with the intent of commanding attention and getting results. Making a clear outline is crucial for organizing your thoughts and getting a sense of what you have and where you might need to flesh things out. It also helps you define your overall purpose, giving you a clear metric to evaluate success in the finished product. Depending on the specifics of your initiative, it may be important to jot down:
-Your overarching goal
-Specific talking points
-Visuals to include
-Questions that might come up
Whether you need a transcript of everything you wish to say, a set of note cards, or another tool to use during your actual talk is contingent on the particulars of your speech as well as your personal preferences. Some people find that they work better if everything is completely spelled out ï and this is typically standard in more formal situations ï whereas others prefer to go off some notes so that they have more leeway in commanding attention and getting results. Remember that what works for someone else might not be ideal for you, and you’ll deliver a better demonstration if you stay true to your individual nature.
Rehearse Till You’re Blue in the Face
Even if you know the material and everything you want to say, never underestimate the importance of practicing your delivery. This is where you hone your skills in order to get your message across in the most effective manner possible. The most in demand speakers on a global scale may make it look effortless, but in truth they have likely run through their presentations several times before they step in front of the microphone. Rehearsal not only helps you do a better job, it also lessens your worry beforehand because you will feel ready and more confident.
Go into a private space and make sure it’s quiet enough to be able to work without distraction. Read or scan your notes aloud. Then stand up and say everything you are planning to say in real time. Do this over and over. Be sure to have a good outline and notes prepared well in advance so that you have the time to rehearse. In addition:
-Employ a mirror. When you already have a firm grasp of your material, try doing your talk in front of a mirror. Here you’ll be able to spot awkward gestures, unfortunate expressions, or other details that could otherwise distract from your message.
-Make a recording that’s audio and/or video. Again, this is a great way to catch small area where you could improve. You’ll likely notice spots where you get tripped up verbally, and/or sections that could be shortened or expanded upon.
-Time your speech. Because people have a tendency to speed up or slow down without realizing it, make sure you’re rehearsing with a timer in order to stick to any time constraints.
-Be engaged. Remember that a message that you don’t believe in or doesn’t interest you won’t engross your audience, either. If you’re not invested, take the time to hone your material so that you will be excited to impart the material.
For more tips on commanding attention and getting results, check out the extensive amount of resources here at Mighty Recruiter.