Whether you are a public speaking rookie or a member of Toastmasters, there are always ways to improve. Here are 3 of my favorites.
Do A Little Acting.
When you are public speaking you are putting on a show and you should think of it that way. To improve your performance think about 3 of your favorite speakers; they could be broadcast journalists, your pastor, a big name motivational speaker or even a co-worker. Make a list of the things you enjoy about their delivery. Study them. Then steal some of your favorite speaking traits and techniques. Try them on for size. At first it will feel like you are “acting” like that person and you are, it’s okay. The more you try it on, the more that technique or tone will transition into your own.
Never Wing It.
This is one of the biggest mistakes speakers make. You start to become comfortable speaking to an audience and so you stop preparing. Because you’re no longer nervous in front of the crowd, you assume you can wing it.
Preparation is always a part of public speaking. You owe it to your audience. Can you get by winging it? Yes, but think of how much better your performance could have been had you prepared. At the very least you should review your 3 main messages and how you plan to deliver them before every performance. If you do this speech or seminar on a regular basis and know the content inside and out, you probably won’t need a while lot of prep. But perhaps its time to change things up! How can you revamp, the same old speech? Challenge yourself. If you’re having fun with it, your audience will too!
Audience Participation is a Must.
Who wants to just sit and listen anymore? Not me. The new world of social media lets us participate in practically everything. Live audiences want the same.
Get their feedback on topics during your speech. Leave time for some back and forth on certain points of interest or debate. Ask people to share examples from their lives/businesses. Pick out audience members to participate in exercises that help demonstrate your points. Encourage participation throughout your performance, not just during a Q & A at the end.
Lecturing to a silent audience is no long an option. Have fun and get interactive!
What are some of your favorite ways to encourage audience participation? Comment below!