7 Quick Tips To Learn The Skill Of Effective Speaking
Master The Skills Of Effective Speaking And Be Successful
Speaking is one of your most critical assets to getting yourself, your company and your ideas into the marketplace. The more persuasive and effective your speaking skills the more effective you will be. Here are seven tips I have learned over 30 years of speaking to audiences all over the world that I guarantee will make a difference for you.
1.Engage With Your Audience
When you speak, try to engage your audience. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved with your message. If appropriate, ask leading questions targeted to individuals or groups, and encourage people to participate and ask questions.
Keep in mind that some words reduce your power as a speaker. For instance, think about how these sentences sound: “I just want to add that I think we can meet these goals” or “I just think this plan is a good one.” The words “just” and “I think” limit your authority and conviction. Don’t use them.
A similar word is “actually,” as in, “Actually, I’d like to add that we were under budget last quarter.” When you use “actually,” it conveys a sense of submissiveness or even surprises. Instead, say what things are. “We were under budget last quarter” is clear and direct.
Also, pay attention to how you’re speaking. If you’re nervous, you might talk quickly. This increases the chances that you’ll trip over your words, or say something you don’t mean. Force yourself to slow down by breathing deeply. Don’t be afraid to gather your thoughts; pauses are an important part of the conversation, and they make you sound confident, natural, and authentic.
Finally, avoid reading word-for-word from your notes. Instead, make a list of important points on cue cards, or, as you get better at public speaking, try to memorize what you’re going to say – you can still refer back to your cue cards when you need them.
2. Pay Attention to Body Language
If you’re unaware of it, your body language will give your audience constant, subtle clues about your inner state. If you’re nervous, or if you don’t believe in what you’re saying, the audience can soon know.
Pay attention to your body language: stand up straight, take deep breaths, look people in the eye, and smile. Don’t lean on one leg or use gestures that feel unnatural.
Many people prefer to speak behind a podium when giving presentations. While podiums can be useful for holding notes, they put a barrier between you and the audience. They can also become a “crutch,” giving you a hiding place from the dozens or hundreds of eyes that are on you.
Instead of standing behind a podium, walk around and use gestures to engage the audience. This movement and energy will also come through in your voice, making it more active and passionate.
Open your presentation with a big claim so as to get the audience’s full attention from the beginning. “In the next ten minutes, I am going to demonstrate something about apples that I assure you 99% of you don’t know and 100% of you will want to know, never forget and use every day for the rest of your life!” Get attention early.
4. Inspire, Don’t Preach
Not even a church sermon goes over well when the audience feels preached to, people want to be moved and inspired. Always seek to inspire rather than teach or preach. When your audience feels good they will respond positively to your message and to you.
5.End with a success story or message of hope and inspiration
This is where you wrap your entire speech together and give the audience an overview of what they have gotten, how they can use it and how it will affect them. Do so in a manner that they will leave your speech inspired and moved to a new level of hope and ability.
6. Bang One Message
Bang away on one simple message or theme that people can remember and use. Avoid covering too many things that will be lost and forgotten. People will typically lock in on one theme anyway and you want your audience walking out with one basic line or message or action banging away in their head that they will align with you as the presenter. This is what gets passed on when your speech is over. If your presentation is one hour push one theme not many!
Relate to an audience that you understand the problems and challenges they experience by sharing your own. It seems that people can relate more easily to people’s struggles that they can their successes. That is not to suggest you would not share successes but the successes will be even more valuable when compared to your mistakes. While it is critical to come off as a credible authority it is also vital that you come off as real and not just a “super being”. The experience of failing and persisting is credible, believable and appealing. Ie. Tiger Woods could tell his audience how he missed a two-foot putt to put him behind a stroke on the 16th hole in the final day and then later came back to win the Open on the 18th. This story of success would be more powerful when told against the backdrop of the failure. Think about music, without some period of silence it would not have its effect
Speaking is one of the most powerful assets you have available to you in conveying yourself, your value and your ideas. The more effective you are at speaking the more effective you will be in life!
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