Whether you are just starting out, or well into your career path, at some point in time you will be expected to deliver your thoughts in front of an audience that ranges from a full boardroom to a public of thousands. Consider well-known public speakers such as Simon Sinek, or Gary Vaynerchuk for a second. What stands out is their passion and knowledge of their chosen topic or subject matter. It’s this drive that keeps them on stage for an hour or more, seemingly without even breaking a sweat. However, this might not be the case for you. Damp, clammy hands, stuttering and even forgetting your lines are any candidate’s worst nightmare when it comes to preparing for a public speaking event. So if you want to ace your next event, or perhaps you are looking to learn this important skill, then read on to find out how you can succeed at your next public speaking event.
Practice truly does make perfect. It’s so often that you attend a talk and find that the speaker is under-prepared. Perhaps you had your assistant create your slides, and you didn’t run through them. Or maybe you took time to rehearse at home in front of the mirror, rather than with a trusted colleague. When you are practicing your presentation, take time to practice in front of several groups of people. Try presenting to someone who best represents your audience, and don’t be shy to ask for feedback. You could also try recording yourself during a practice attempt to see which areas need the most work.
Keep your end goal in sight
When you are preparing any speech, it’s crucial that you define your end goal. Make sure that you know what you want the audience to do after they have left the auditorium. Do you know what key information you want them to take home with them? Now you can start to build your talking points into your speech, helping to support your goal. This will enable you to produce a focused and clear speech that provides true value and is memorable.
Slides are just an aid
When public speaking, it’s easy to make the mistake of reading all your notes or key messages from your slides. Be sure that you keep slides as an aid, rather than a support, during any speech that you deliver. Keep a few keywords on your slides and don’t make things too overcomplicated. If you struggle to keep track, try using a flashcard maker to provide you with some handy aids. Flashcards are a great way for you to pick yourself up if you do make a small error. Keep your slides and flashcards simple, and your speech will be a success.
If you take time to prepare and research your speech before delivering it to your target audience, then you can enter the room feeling confident and empowered. Keep these tips in mind, and who knows, you could soon be delivering your own TedTalks.