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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 December 17, 2018

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Have you ever wanted to say something at work, but a little voice of doubt crept in and said, “what if you are wrong”?

Maybe you wanted to apply for that promotion or ask that special someone on a date, but something kept you from taking action. When you think you’re not good enough, you tend to fear the outcome and lack faith in your abilities. That is why it is vital you discover how to believe in yourself so you can accomplish your goals and create your dream life.

Whatever your situation, the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs create will always stop you in your tracks. Identifying the beliefs that cause you to sabotage your life is the first step to removing them.

Self-doubt causes inaction, and inaction leads to regret. When you are not following your passion and living your dream life, you are left with a lot of questions:

  • What if I took a chance on myself?
  • Could I have had a better life if I took more risks?
  • Am I be satisfied with the legacy I am leaving behind?
  • What could I have accomplished if I did not settle for less?

So why would you think you’re not good enough?

1. Parenting

The perception you have of yourself is based on your past experiences. There are studies that show children mimic everything from their parents ability to regulate emotions, to their parents belief about money.[1]

I have had clients who did not believe they were good enough because they did not receive any positive reinforcement as a child. When they were young, their parents were extremely overprotective.

Think of your childhood challenges like dragons you had to slay. Each obstacle you overcame was another dragon you successfully removed from your life. As you slay more dragons, your self-esteem and confidence increase. When someone has overprotective parents, their parents end up slaying the dragons.

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As a result, the child builds more confidence in their parent’s abilities, while still doubting their own.

If you are never encouraged to slay your own dragons, you start to doubt whether you can. It is only natural for a child to conclude their parents are always helping them because they think they need it. This child ages into an adult who still believes they are not good enough. They seek the help and confirmation of others, and they rarely stand-up to opposition.

Solution: Slay Your Dragons!

If you want to believe in yourself, you are going to have to take steps to rebuild your trust in yourself. Start by keeping your word to others and arriving on-time. By showing yourself that others can (and do) trust you, you are going to feel more comfortable trusting yourself.

As you move onto larger and more challenging tasks, you have built a foundation of trust in your ability to keep your word. Next, you are going to want to reclaim your sword from others. At first, you may want to confide in whoever it is currently slaying your dragons.

Understand if it is your parent or someone who loves you, they want the best for you and mean well. You are simply going to tell them that you want to do the work, and will ask them for their thoughts in the planning phase. Feel free to check in with them and give them updates on your progress, while making sure they understand you are wanting to do the work yourself.

Then when the task is completed, let them know so you can celebrate together. Now that you have slayed your own dragon, you can start to reclaim your confidence. By you utilizing them as your guide, you get the added bonus of someone you respect and admire, telling you how amazing you are.

Think of it like a symbolic passing of the torch. Now, you are both dragon slayers. Which means all the positive attributes you attributed to them slaying your dragons, now belong to you.

2. Over-Exaggerating and Oversimplifying

Your past experiences may involve you or someone close to you failing. When you experience failure, you can lose your desire to continue. This has less to do with whether you are brave or scared, and more to do with the fact that your mind does not like failure.

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No one enjoys participating in events in which they under-perform. Outside of the usual reasons of embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure – it is simply not fun.

Who wants to play baseball if they strikeout every time it is their turn? Would you enjoy singing in front of an audience if you were booed off the stage every time you performed? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The thing about those two examples is no one really strikes out “every” at-bat. It is also unlikely someone could be booed off the stage “every time” they performed in-front of an audience.

What ends up happening is you oversimplify and exaggerate your past experiences and then your mind believes you. If you believe you are not good enough to ask someone on a date because they “always” tell you no, then do not be surprised you never muster the courage to do so.

If you want to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, start by changing your beliefs. This exercise does not need to be complicated. If you believe you strikeout every time it is your turn, I want to you to go to a batting cage and keep swinging until you hit the baseball.

When you experience success, I want you to take a mental note, write it down, or have someone video it. This is your proof that you do not always strike out. Then, whenever your belief that you are not good enough resurfaces, you are going to replay that video.

Regardless of the situation, you can find a successful experience that you are overlooking.

Solution: Read About the Failures of Others

It sounds a little crazy, I know, but reading about the failures of other successful people will improve your confidence. In a study conducted by Columbia University, they found that teaching students about the failures of great scientists encouraged them to do better.[2]

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When you are battling fear and self-doubt, you tend to over-exaggerate the abilities of others and diminish your own by comparison. You start to believe the successful are successful because they are courageous risk-takers, who do not take no for an answer. You tell yourself, they are meant to succeed, while you on the other hand are not.

When you are able to relate to the successful, you start to realize they have the same struggles and challenges you do. The only difference is they kept going.

Now it is not a question of whether you can succeed, it is a question of whether you want to succeed.

3. Undervalue Yourself

What is the main difference between someone who believes they are good enough and someone who does not? The person who believes they are good enough understands they are a person of value.

What I mean by this is if you do not believe you are worth being listened to, you will not have anything to say. If you do not believe you are good enough to be respected and treated as such, you will accept and rationalize all kinds of mistreatment.

There is an old saying that we are treated as we allow ourselves to be treated. When someone has the confidence and self-esteem that commands respect, they will not accept being treated any kind of way. However, if someone does not see themselves as worthy, they will remain in toxic situations because they do not believe anything better is on the horizon.

Dr. Jennifer Crocker, who worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that:[3]

“College students who based their self-worth on external sources–including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance–reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders”

Solution: Internalize Your Self-Worth

Instead of valuing yourself based on the awards, recognition, and accolades of others, you need to search internally. By basing your perception of yourself on your core values, you can regain control over self-image.

Instead of focusing on things that are outside of control, keep your mind on what it is that makes you special. You are not defined by your job, relationships, religion, or education. Rather, you are defined by the manner in which you participate in these things. You may be a creative, hard-working, and compassionate person; and that shows up in every thing you do.

Understand that you do not need to be creative, hard-working, and compassionate all the time to consider yourself these things. You are not trying to be perfect, but you are trying to connect with your true self.

By understanding the similarities in which you tackle objectives, you will build a consistent and powerful self-worth that stands apart from external confirmation.

Final Thoughts

Do not allow your past experiences do dictate your future success. You do not want to look back on your life and have a lot of questions and regrets.

Build trust in yourself by taking action today. This will help you build the confidence you need to believe in yourself and your ability to become the champion of your life.

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Featured photo credit: Riccardo Mion via unsplash.com

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