6 Hot Tips - Public Speaking

Some useful tips to share with students, shared by a GR8 MATES mentor with extensive Toastmasters experience.

1. FOCUS ON WHAT, NOT HOW!

  • Focus on why you are giving the talk, what you are going to say;
  • What message do you want to give your audience?
  • Focus on what is going to help the audience get your message. Imagine you are in the audience of your talk. What do you want to hear?
  • Don’t focus on how you are going to do; this will make you nervous ie.don’t focus on you; focus on your audience.

2. BELIEVE IT!

  • Believe what you are saying; it must fill you with enthusiasm and passion;
  • Talk about something you enjoy, that you know about eg, what have you enjoyed most about this program; any funny stories or great experiences from the journey?
  • Don’t worry about grammar;
  • Speak normally. If you are enthusiastic or passionate people will respond.
  • Speak from the heart.

3. PREPARE TO SURVIVE

  • Prepare your presentation in advance. If you value your audience (or in this case also your mentor) then you must prepare what you are going to say so that you communicate the message you want your audience to hear.
  • Practise if you can. Impromptu speaking is one of the most difficult things in the world to do. Don’t put extra pressure on yourself.

4. BREATHE AND MOVE

  • Don’t stand still and don’t read your notes;
  • Use your breath to control nerves;
  • Don’t be afraid to pause and gather your thoughts. Move around; look at people. Your brain works better when you are moving; blood and oxygen help it; the body is made to move. Movement also helps dissipate nervous energy. The less you move, the less you feel, and the less the audience will connect with you.

5. DON’T MEMORISE

  • Don’t try to memorise your speech, as this will put way too much pressure on yourself. If you have it memorised and go blank when you step up, what are you going to do next?
  • Simply have a short punchy opening, a few points that you want to cover as memory joggers and know what you want to say about each. If you are speaking from the heart your subconscious will be your best friend and help you with the words – just let it do so.

6. CONNECT WITH EYE CONTACT

  • Choose someone at the back of the room and make sure you are communicating with them. By doing this you will be making sure that your voice is carrying to the furtherst part of the room.
  • As you share your information, move your head and eyes and connect with as many other people in different parts of the room as you can.
  • Smile through your eyes!! That will show your sincerity.

One last thing….HAVE FUN! J Summary: Your audience want you to do well. Just relax, focus on what your audience will take away from your presentation. Talk from the heart, prepare and practise, help your body relax by moving and breathing and connect with your audience with your eyes and a smile. Let your subconscious help you by having confidence in it; the words will come if you let them! © Geoff Stodart, 2008