The Art of Speaking
Public Speaking or the process of communicating with a large group of people has always fascinated individuals. Some of the greatest of leaders have been attributed to having been the best of speakers. The art of speaking publicly is held as an ultimate test of skills and confidence.
Public Speaking is not just about engaging people, it is also to include them in the entire exercise. The main objective of public speaking is to influence the listener. Grabbing one’s attention and making it stay throughout the course of the session requires deftness and loads of confidence.
Great speakers and leaders of men have had the knack of owning their respective constituency, merely by the strength of their gift of the gab. Public Speaking will not necessarily mean talking at functions, seminars or political events. It also includes classroom sessions, business presentations, presenting your assignment to the teacher and explaining it to the class. From theological to political, educational to recreational, the range public speaking covers is vast. However, whichever domain one speaks in, the primary objective remains the same and that is to influence and to put across your point.
In this article we are going to talk about the finer details that will help you hone your public speaking skills:
Every presentation needs that moment of preparation. If you intend to speak impromptu, advice is that you need to prepare for that too. The biggest challenge public speaker’s face is a cluttered mind. One has to enter the arena with a streamlined thought. One point needs to flow seamlessly into the other. The transition needs to be effortless. That will only be possible if the mental notes created are listed prominently and precisely. There is no substitute for preparation. None whatsoever.
Seems clichéd but this old world exercise still works like a charm. Practice makes a man and a woman perfect. It surely does. Once you have prepared what needs to be done, rehearse. You will be able to locate the deficiencies in your effort. Remember, public speaking, in any form and domain, is still essentially a performance. And performances do not happen at the drop of a hat. It needs practice.
It is absolutely alright to carry a piece of paper with the bullet points of the information you wish to convey. Initially, you might want to write the entire speech down but as you grow in stature and confidence, those notes will reduce to mere side notes and probably, much later you might need them at all. Taking notes to speeches is also part of the preparation for the performance. The font and size of the texts should be clear and comprehensible. The bullet points are to be placed in an order you wish to speak in. While practicing, remember to use that note. However, it is not a good sight reading out from a piece of paper, especially in events which would require a charged up effort.
It is always advisable to do a quick reconnaissance of the venue beforehand. While that always will not be possible for varied reasons, the least that can be done is to enquire about the composition of the audience and the area in which the event is going to take place in. It is a good practice to keep you ahead of the game.
Take Advantage of Technology
In today’s world it is impossible to present any topic without the use of visual or multimedia aid. Depending the topic of your presentation, the tool that best fits your need. For sure, 99% of school presentations are done in PowerPoint. Be smart and use PowerPoint Backgrounds professionally created for the topic. Avoid bullet points. Use images and short sentences that empower your message.
And take a deep breath. Look around and smile. Pause and introduce yourself. Let the moment sink in. You are now at the forefront of a human endeavor to connect with the crowd. The first few lines that you speak will set the tone for the rest of the sessions. Go win it.