Whether you are an experienced presenter pitching your proposals or a student delivering your graded presentation, there were definitely times when you felt nervous and stuttered. But you don’t have to be the best public speaker to deliver the best speech. You just have to be clear and have a few great stories to share.
Prepare a Story
People like listening to stories especially if they can relate. So ask yourself, what you do want your audience to remember you about? Tell them a story so that it can arouse their emotions to make your content sticky. Stories stick in people’s mind so if they can relate to you, they are more likely to remember you. Likewise, if you have lived a story, you can share it easily from your memory without having to memorise your speech.
Capture their Attention
You’ve got the first 30 seconds to draw your audience’s attention so act on it. Use humour, emotions or anything that identifies you. “I need to make a confession. I’ve done something 10 years ago that I’m not particularly proud of…would you do the same?” Design questions to arouse their curiosity. Give yourself a chance to engage them so they will look up and listen to you.
Oh, and one important point to note is to always use simple words. No point impressing your audience with jargons if they have to spend the next few moments thinking about those terms. Be simple so everyone understands your story.
Practise, Practise and Practise
Before you can do all these to deliver your stunning speech, you need to prepare and practise. Practise aloud, practise a million times. So much that your speech is etched at the back of your mind and it’ll flow naturally. Once you achieve it, show your enthusiasm. Audience are humans too; they can feel if you are genuinely passionate about what you are speaking. That’s when you take this chance to impress them.
Now this is the most important part that people often neglect. You just want to end your speech quickly but what is it that you want your audience to do? Link it back to your stories. “So, what would you do if you had been in my situation 10 years ago” Get them to reflect on their takeaways.
Well, we are not giving you a step-by-step approach but it generally gives you an idea what some of the best speakers out there do. More importantly, enjoy the experience.