1. Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.
2. Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.
3. Ask someone whom you trust to give you feedback on your presentation ahead of time.
4. Ask for the feedback to be specific, focusing in on commendations, recommendations and commendations preferably in that order.
5. In preparation, write down everything you want to say – without censorship.
6. Cluster what you consider to be the salient points and build your speech around these.
7. Present your speaking, life and work credentials very early on. This helps to build credibility.
8. Speak persuasively and authoritatively. The audience is coming to listen to you because they believe you have the answers.
9. Use interesting transitions that take you from one point to the next.
10. Create visual images with your words, remember the old adage; ‘a picture paints a thousand words’.
11. Speak clearly, annunciating appropriately.
12. Speak enthusiastically, if you’re not enthusiastic, why should the audience be?
13. Start with a ‘big bang’ opening – something your audience will remember.
14. Close your speech with a call to action. What do you want your audience to do, say or think as a result of hearing your speech?
15. Research your audience. Who are they? What do they want to know? What do they know already? How large is the audience?
16. Find out what types of questions you might be expected to respond to.
17. Prepare answers to questions.
18. Deal with hostile questions by staying calm, receiving the question from the questioner and presenting the answer to the whole audience. Make sure you don’t get into a two way dialogue.
19. If using visual aids, make sure that they are in appropriate working order, check this ahead of time and certainly make sure they are checked on the day, ahead of your speech.
20. Make sure you project your voice appropriately to the size of the audience and the room.
21. Use a microphone as appropriate, there’s nothing worse for the voice than continually putting a strain on it.
22. Ensure you have appropriate inflections, no one wants to listen to a monotone voice
23. Pace your speech, not too fast, not too slow.
24. Avoid the use of jargon, unless you know your audience understands that jargon.
25. Decide what it is you want to do with your speech; entertain, persuade, inform etc.
26. Build rapport with your audience. Speak, using a number of representational systems: visual, auditory, kinaesthetic. This will ensure you are bringing most of the audience along with you most of the time.
27. The general format of a speech is: tell the audience what you will tell them, tell them and conclude by telling them that you have told them.
28. It’s usually best to take questions at the end of a speech, each time you allow questions you lose control of the `floor’.
29. Determine how long you will speak for and stay within that time frame.
30. A speech lasting much more than 45 minutes will have much of your audience asleep.
31. Get your audience’s attention from the outset with a quote, a story, a statistic, a joke, an anecdote etc.
32. If you can, it’s best to have nothing between you and your audience.
33. If you wish though, `cue’ cards are acceptable to help you remember the key points you wish to make.
34. Join a speaking club such as Toastmasters International – a great learning ground for fledgling speakers.
35. Control your nerves with diaphramic breathing.
36. Be mindful of inappropriate body language – fidgeting for example will take people away from the speech.
37. Dress appropriately for your audience and for your own comfort.
38. Pause appropriately, a well timed pause adds intrigue and draws your audience in and is better than the ubiquitous uhmmmmmmmms and ahhhhhh’s.
39. Have a glass of water handy, for the potential dry mouth syndrome – take sips during pauses, rather than gulp.
40. In order to combat shortness of breath it’s best to inhale and then speak on the out breath. This may feel a little strange at first and gets better with practice.
41. Prior to speaking it makes sense not to consume alcohol unless you want to risk inarticulation and muddled ideas.
42. Be aware that milk causes mucous and so may make you nasaly, here again you might want to think about what liquid you intake prior to a speech.
43. Ahead of your speaking in public take a few moments to scan the audience, this gives the added benefit of enabling you to relax prior to beginning.
44. If speaking humorously, remember this really must be done with confidence or you could go down like a lead balloon.
45. A humorous speech has a number of benefits: acts as an ice-breaker, could win over a hostile audience, keep people interested and helps them to remember what you have said.
46. Use a range of resources to build your speech: books, magazines, current and historical news stories, movies, tapes, internet, themes from your own life and those around you.
47. Engage with the audience’s own experiences, use information that they have given you during the question process.
48. Leave the audience satisfied, wanting more and wishing to hear from you again.
49. At the end of your speech undertake a self-evaluative review: what went well in the presentation? What could you do differently? How effective overall was the speech?
50. Please create your own list of tools for effective public speaking.
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Hyacinth is a Master Practitioner of NLP and a Master Hypnotherapist.
Hyacinth, a Coach, independent consultant and trainer for fifteen years. Highly regarded and ensures that her solutions are informative, exciting and presented in such a way to ensure all learning styles are catered for. She works with personnel at the highest levels in the private, public and voluntary sectors, up to and including members of the board as well as front line staff.
Hyacinth has worked within a number of large public sector organisations, including: Home Office, Probation Service, DfES, DfT, CPS, OfCom, NICE as well as within many of the London Local Authorities.