Being an effective public speaker may be a vital aspect of your job, especially if you are an entrepreneur. Whether you need to pitch your product to prospective clients or you need to boost employee morale, your public speaking skills will determine if your ship is going to sail…or sink. With that in mind, public speaking is not an easy feat to master and some people are deathly afraid of speaking to a crowd and this can hinder success. But even if you’ve never taken a public speaking course, you can still nail a great presentation after you check out these five secrets from the prolific public speaker Lawrence Mitchell.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
While there certainly are people out there who can give phenomenal speaking presentations on a whim, others will need to practice, practice and practice. You may notice many professional speakers can flow from sentence to sentence without the use of various breaks known as speech disfluencies that are most commonly heard as uh, um, erm, like and other non-lexical utterances. This is due to the fact that they practice their speech many times before they present it. When your faced with the task of speaking in front of a crowd, write down your speech and practice it over and over again so you can get the flow down without any interruptions.
2. End Each Sentence With Confidence
In order to stir up morale or be viewed as the authority on a specific subject, you’ll need to end each sentence with confidence. Many times people will turn their opinions or statements into questions or speak in upward inflections that leave the audience in disarray. Instead, make sure you add assurance to the end of each sentence to instill confidence and assertion.
3. Eye Contact Is Key
When you are trying to connect with your audience, it’s vital to make sure everyone is engage and one way to do that is to maintain eye contract throughout your speech. Establishing eye contact gives the audience the feeling that you know what you’re talking about instead of nervously scanning the room.
4. Remain Relaxed
Your audience can tell if you’re tense or nervous, which makes it extremely important to remain relaxed, calm and collected. When you can convey your ideas in a comfortable manner, your audience will likely be more receptive to the overall message of your speech. Also, be sure to personalize your message because if you don’t want to lose your audience’s interest as your ideas will just fall on deaf ears. Try to relate the message to a personal experience that reinforces your speech.
5. Make Notes
Even the most experienced and well-rehearsed public speakers have a few note cards with them up at the podium and it’s okay for you to have them as well. Sometimes you could go over the speech a dozen times and you may forget one small detail that actually turns out to be quite important. With that in mind, make a brief outline of your speech and highlight certain topics on index cards to ensure you hit each point you want to make.