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Public Speaking Tips

Delivering a powerful speech isn’t always easy. However, it’s a vital skill everyone should have. Whether you’re an educator, financial advisor or CEO, there’s going to be a time in your career when you have to present a speech. For many professionals, public speaking can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. With enough practice and preparation, your nerves will subside and you can face your fear head on.

To deliver an effective and powerful speech, follow these public speaking tips from Lawrence Mitchell. Lawrence Mitchell is an award-winning writer and international public speaker, who has captivated audiences all over the world.

  • Stick to 3 points – Make only 1 to 3 points in your entire speech. Discuss your points at the beginning of your speech. Then, as you introduce each new point, refer back to the previous point. Sum up all 3 points at the end of your speech.
  • Keep it short – In Lawrence Mitchell’s experience, 20 minutes is the maximum ideal time for a speech. With a longer speech, your audience may lose interest. Also, this leaves time at the end of your speech for the audience to ask questions.
  • Choose the right topic – Be sure you are speaking about a topic you are knowledge about. You’d be surprised how quickly people catch on if you are not an expert on the subject matter. Also, choose a topic you care about. If you are not interested in your topic, you will have a hard time convincing your audience to be.
  • Use PowerPoint wisely –Only use PowerPoint slides for illustrations and data, such as charts and graphs. Avoid using slides to display text. It is impossible for your audience to listen to you and read your slides at the same time. These types of slides are distracting and will cause you audience to lose interest.
  • Manage your time – Put a watch on the podium to time how long you are speaking. You’d be surprised how quickly time passes when you’re speaking.
  • Be flexible – Pay attention to your audience and be flexible. If you sense attention in the room is flagging, skip some points and wrap up your speech.
  • Control your nerves – If you’re nervous, look over your audience’s heads to the back of the room. It will appear like you are delivering direct eye contact, while assuaging your anxiety. Return your eyes to the audience once your nerves subside. Also, if you don’t know what to do with your hands, hold each side of the podium. If there is no podium, hold them behind your back or at your sides. Gestures will come naturally as you become more comfortable.