Tips on public speaking are often lame.
Stuff like: Just imagine everyone naked and focus on the Exit sign at the back of the room.
As you read the advice you know it’s not going to help. The same old regurgitated crapola.
Here are 7 outrageously ingenious and simple tips on public speaking you won’t see anywhere else…
Stop trying to be perfect
When delivering a speech, perfection is the worst goal you can have.
Perfection is unattainable. There will always be something wrong with your speech. Something will never go quite right with your presentation.
Aiming for 0% mistakes can only make things worse. No matter what happens you are going to mess something up. The wrong word here, a inappropriately long pause there. When you are aiming for the perfect speech a simple error can derail you, make you lose confidence, and turn you into a babbling mess.
Instead of focusing on trying to be perfect, focus on being human. Accept that things can and will go wrong and learn to be able to laugh them off with the audience. When you mispronounce a word or skip something, just apologize and move on.
Forget the slides
Trying to design awesome slides is a waste of your time.
Even if you can design perfect, Steve-Jobs-level slides it isn’t going to help you.
Thing is, an awesome speech will cover for crappy slides. However, awesome slides won’t cover for a bad speech.
Focus your time wisely. Focus on preparing and practicing your speech.
Start with an open body position
The first few seconds of your speech is when the audience is judging you most harshly.
If you project confidence in the first few seconds of your presentation your audience is most likely to trust you and want to listen to you.
The easiest way to project confidence is through body language. Making sure you start with an open body position is key to appearing confident.
To maintain this open body position try to talk with your hands. Talking with your hands doesn’t need to take a lot of practice. Simply focus on speaking naturally, as you would if you were describing an interesting story to a bunch of friends.
Know how to open your speech
Worrying about what you are going to say can get you into an endless spiral of anxiety which results in forgetting what you want to say.
You can overcome this worry spiral by focusing only on the first thing you need to say.
Start with something that will help you connect with your audience. For example, “Like me, you are probably tired of filing Benson reports at the end of every day.” After speaking, pause, allow the audience to react, and then begin speaking again.
Repeat your main message regularly
If you want your audience to take a particular action or agree with an idea you need to make sure you are conveying that message.
It is not enough to say it once. Your key message needs to be repeated regularly throughout your speech.
Keep coming back to the main point and you’ll move the audience in the direction you want them to go.
Focus on quality, not quantity
Forget trying to fill an arbitrary time limit.
Perhaps you have 15 minutes to speak. Don’t focus on filling this whole time. Instead focus on saying what you need to say to the audience in order to get their buy-in.
A compact 7-minute speech, where you say everything you need to is far better than a 15-minute stretched-out speech filled with umms and ahhs and watch-checking.
Slow down, pause often
If you rush through your speech you’ll appear more nervous than you actually are.
When you rush your speech and don’t pause the audience can feel your stress. The audience understands you just want to “get it done.” The audience is likely to take you less seriously when you rush.
Slow down you speaking rate. Pause often. Make sure the audience is absorbing what you are saying. You’ll appear more confident and more in control.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you have any of your own outrageous tips on public speaking please add them!
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