Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tips to Ensure Your Public Speaking Success. Part 1

Faye B. Roberts

To have the greatest public speaking success, you need to start with some basic information. Here are some basic tips to help get you started.

Do your homework about the audience that you are speaking to: research to find keywords that are associated with the audience. Use words related with the group and put those into your speech. For example, if you are giving your speech to a group of Police Officers learn some 10-4 codes or if your speech is to a group of golfers use some golf terms. Adjusting your speech to your audience will have them pay more attention to what you are saying. You will sound like one of them and they can relate better to you and you will truly connect to your audience.

The first thing you should know when preparing your speech is that your opening and closing remarks are the most memorable for your audience. The filler in the middle has a tendency to get lost. Which doesn't mean that the middle part should be gibberish, of course. It should be on topic and precise, but make sure you have a good opening sentence and a sharp punch line for the end. You want your opening remarks to be compelling and create enough interest to gain the attention of your audience, and your final remarks should summarize what your speech meant to convey to them. If you start your speech the right way you will be on your way to a delivering a successful speech, and the last sentence will make it memorable.

Please do not start with the normal "Hi ladies and gentlemen. We are here today to learn about the art of public speaking. We're going to have fun today and I am going to show you how to become an effective public speaker". This is totally the wrong way. It is boring and definitely not original. It might get the attention of a few but defiantly not the majority. Start out by creating some mystery and intrigue. Using the proper words in your opening can make or break your speech. Start with a compelling story, date or number. Something like "It was a short time ago that I made the most amazing discovery that has helped my career like nothing else. It has helped me by giving me confidence in myself and my ability to show you the art of public speaking." Or you could start with: "Ninety Five percent of all of you in the audience has a phobia. Do you know what that phobia is? It is the fear of public speaking". In both of these examples your audience is alert and ready to listen.

When you first get onto the stage and you're standing tall at the podium, smile for the first three seconds while saying absolutely nothing. During this time make eye contact with the audience. This shows the mark of a polished, experienced speaker. It shows you are poised and patient and engages the audience's attention right away.And speak at the audience, not the wall or the ceiling or the door - look at the audience and involve them. They will become interested in you simply because you show interest in them.

Public speaking is not the career choice for many, but the ones who are successful are the ones who spend time doing their research about their audience. Finding those few key words makes the audience feel special, which in turn makes them enjoy your speech. The thundering applause at the end will confirm it.

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