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Take These 12 Public Speaking Tips And Deliver An Impressive Speech

Take These 12 Public Speaking Tips And Deliver An Impressive Speech

Few people are naturally great at giving speeches and even fewer enjoy it. Therefore the process of writing and delivering a speech is perceived as boring, uncomfortable, and bothersome to most people.

There’s plenty of tips out there for how to get better at public speaking in the long-term period, but that’s not what this article is about.

Instead you will learn different short-term public speaking tips that you can immediately apply to help your next speech become a success!

Before The Speech

1. Speak about something YOU are interested in.

Let go of the need to compromise for your audience. Make the speech about something you are genuinly interesting in. By playing to your strengths, you’ll make it so much easier for yourself.

In most cases the audience will actually like it more if you speak about something that you enjoy rather than something that you think they might enjoy.

By doing this you’ll avoid coming off as a try-hard.

2. Basic speech structure

There is a reason why movies, books, and speeches follow a structure.

This is because the brain likes to chronologically divide things into different sections. Therefore a typical speech has an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

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By following this structure you are making it easier for the observer to process the information of your speech, which increases the likelihood that your message is well received.

For the intro you may want to start with a story or a question to get the audience’s attention from the get-go.

The body is is the main portion of the speech. It should contain the main points that you want to make

The conclusion finalizes the speech and clarifies to the audience what the most important points of the speech were.

People’s short-term memories are worse than you think. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to include a conclusion.

3. Write an outline and focus on key points

Write down the key points of what you would like to say.

Keep it as simple as possible. Bullet points work well.

When you’ve written a very simple outline, give it a go immediately and film yourself while doing it if you can.

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Continue doing this for as long as you can and feel free to improvise.

The point of this exercise is not to make a perfect speech, but to use it as inspiration for writing the speech and getting new ideas that you can write down. You will probably catch yourself saying smart things that weren’t already included in the speech.

Another reason why this is a good idea is that it gives you an extra repetition and enforces a strong foundation of the key points in your memory. This is going to make your speech come off as less scripted.

4. Simplify

Even though it can be tempting to show off your expertise by speaking about a lot of different things and to provide a ton of information, it is usually a bad idea unless your speech is long.

By simplifying and focusing on a few main points (3 is the magic number) you will make it easier for the audience to fully grasp what you are saying.

Everything you say in the speech should relate to these main points and back up the simple message that you want to convey.

5. Enunciate words clearly

It can be helpful to remind yourself to speak slowly and to enunciate words clearly because many people have a tendency of speaking a bit too fast as a result of being nervous.

Plus it makes you seem intelligent.

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6. Take deliberate pauses

People don’t understand as quickly as you think they do.

They need some time to catch up with what you are saying. This is particularly important when giving a humorous speech because pauses build tension and suspense which in turn is what makes something funny.

You can capitalize on this by taking deliberate pauses when you make your key points or your jokes.

7. Rehearse a lot

It goes without saying that you need to rehearse at least a couple of times. At the very minimum, you should know your introduction.

 

Just Before and During the Speech

8. Use appropriate hand gestures and body language

Most of our communication is made through body language, not by spoken words. Therefore, it pays to have an expressive body language and purposefully move around the stage, as opposed to standing still in one place.

A lot of people use the same hand gestures over and over. Try not to do that as it gets confusing to the audience.

9. Get audience engagement in any way you can

The faster you are able to involve your audience, the more interested they will become. Get them to invest into the speech somehow.

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If you see a good opportunity to say something you think is funny, go for it. The things that you say in the moment and are situation-specific are often much more funny than scripted material.

Other ways of getting audience engagement might involve:

  • Telling the audience to vote or raise their hands if they agree with what you’re saying
  • Playing a game with them
  • Asking questions to individuals in the audience
  • Passing around a prop of some kind

10. Get focused

I mentioned earlier how it is important to get into an ideal state of mind before delivering the speech and how you could speak to people and also get to know the audience. That’s the social part.

But to get into an ideal state, you also require a certain degree of mental focus. To achieve this I would recommend you do at least one of the following three things prior to the speech:

  • Work out or go running.
  • Meditate.
  • Drink a cup of coffee or tea, or eat raw cocoa.

11. Get to know the audience

Speak to as many people as possible and introduce yourself. People will be much more friendly to you after you do this. Familiarity and likeability play very large roles in public speaking and sales. Take advantage of this.

Another key thing about getting this is the social warm-up it provides you with. If you are about to deliver an important speech, it pays to have put yourself in a peak state. You do that by deliberately speaking to as many people as possible and generating social momentum as early as you can in the day.

This will dramatically boost your comfort and make you a lot more relaxed and likeable.

12. Get an inside man

Ask a member in the audience to do you a favor and ask you a question when/if you ask for volunteers or questions. Set up some canned question to make yourself seem smart. Researchers and professional speakers do this a lot.

You could ask this person to do other things as well. Perhaps you could ask him or her to laugh a lot at a specific point of your speech, or to let you slightly heckle him or her.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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