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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 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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