Public speaking is simply addressing or presenting a speech to a live audience by a person. Most people are afraid of public speaking, but it is very important to overcome this fear especially for professionals. Some people may be born with guts or may develop with their environment and others may not have that capacity.
Public speaking skills are crucial to be a smart person or a smart professional. Globalization, Rivalry among businesses and world economies, and Innovations in technology all increase the importance of public speaking. Because of that firms are willing to hire smart and skilled persons with good public speaking skills. Good public speaking skills are helpful to face social occasions too.
Following facts will definitely help you to improve yourself as a public speaker.
Retention level of speech of the audience will vary according to the way of presenting
There are different kinds of ways used to deliver your speech. Retention level varies according to the way of presentation.
Fact and figures – Retention level of the audience around 03 %
Draft and pictures – Retention level of the audience around 20 %
Story form – Retention level of the audience around 50%
Humors – Retention level of the audience mostly 80% to 90%
Flavors of public speaking
- Informatics flavor
If you deliver essence of your speech as facts (information wise), it touches audience’s brain.
- Emotional flavor
If you deliver the essence of your speech through a heart touching story, it touches the audience’s heart. If you did well, the audience will share all your feelings with them. They may remember your story in their heart forever.
- Humor flavor
If you deliver the essence of your speech through humor, it will relax their entire body. You should have great talent to do so. Humor can refresh an audience. Your speech will be a very energetic, attractive, and memorable one.
Tips to prepare for a public speaking
- The audience
The audience is a very important thing you should know. Your speech must match with the audience. If not, the audience may not pay attention to the speech. Your effort will be useless, time will be wasted and they may not understand anything and also can arise dissent on your speech.
Example: If you are giving a speech about the nutritional value of beef to Tamil Hindu people, it will not work. Because most of them do not consume beef. That is why we should match our speech with the audience.
- Parts of the speech
There should be 3 parts in every speech. They are opening part, body, and closing part of the speech. The opening must be always attractive. You can start with a question or a very important thing to grab the attraction of the audience. It is very important to grab and keep their attention over your speech. The body of the speech should flow with your selected techniques in an attractive and energetic way. Closing of the speech should be a memorable closing to the audience. If the closing of your story can haunt in the audience’s mind even after the speech, it will be a great closing.
- Allocated time
Allocated time for your speech is also a very important fact. If you have a prepared speech, you must have an idea about time. If you got a chance to make an unanticipated speech, you should quickly balance your time according to the situation. Your speech can be a 5min, 15min, 30min, 1hour, or any length. You should allocate your time for 3 parts (Opening part, Body of the speech, closing part) of the speech. You should allocate your time for the above 3 parts according to the examples below.
5 min speech – 45 seconds to 1 min for opening, 3 minutes for the body, and 1 min for closing will be fine.
1-hour speech – 5 to 7 min for opening and closing parts, and the remaining time for the body of the speech
- Selecting a topic
Selecting a much-known thing as a topic is always easier. It will help you to increase confidence, and you can do it with low effort. Already having knowledge means you know what you say, then you have to concern only about how you say.
- Practice makes Perfect
The practice is very crucial to deliver a perfect speech. By practicing you can make yourself comfortable, have good word flow and examples, can time your speech. If you practice in front of people, you can be more confident.
- Body language
Being nervous is the most common thing in public speaking. But you should not show it to the audience. You must keep eye contact with the whole audience without looking at the front, top, or one side of the audience. Your hand should be free to use when required, don’t put your hands in the pocket or cross your arms. Keep a nice smile on your face. Be relax and energetic. Show your feelings to the audience. You can move, jump, or be active on stage when it’s required. But don’t show your back to the audience.
- Usage of the stage
The stage is yours while you’re doing a speech. You should use all the stages while connecting with every person of the audience. You can move on the stage but don’t move while speaking, it can break the connection with the audience and your words may not be clear.
- Voice variations
You should concentrate on your voice also. If you can use your voice with suitable voice variations, it will be a very plus point to keep attraction to your speech. Your voice should be audible enough to the audience.
- Feedback or questions from audience
If you are giving a chance to the audience to ask questions, you must have enough knowledge and skills to answer those. If unfortunately, they ask a question you don’t know, you can say the truth and let them know later if possible. Never give the wrong answers. Taking feedback is a good thing to develop you.
Written By: H.T.S.S Fernando