Master The Art Of Public Speaking
Having given over 500 business speeches, won public speaking awards, run public speaking training classes and courses and written a book on the subject, Chris is in as good a position as anyone else to give you some tips.
From all my experience, I have distilled the key traits and attributes to great public speaking into three key areas:
- The Audience
- The Message
- The Messenger
Together they are The Holy Trinity of Public Speaking
1: The Audience
The crucial question you should answer is why should the audience listen to you? What valuable contribution are you going to make to their lives? You need to answer the cry of “what’s in it for me?”
- Speakers need to engage with their audience. To achieve this you need to understand your audience. Understand who will be there, their level of knowledge, their concerns and passions.
- Speak to your audience, give them eye contact, smile. Inter-act with them just as if it were a conversation.
- Write and deliver your speech or presentation so that it adds value to their lives. Have the courtesy to finish on time.
And do the audience the additional courtesy of practicing your speech rather than winging it!
2: The Message
Former President of the USA, Ronald Reagan said “Every speech has a job to do”.
What job do you want your speech to do?
- Be clear about your purpose & what you want your audience to do because of your message.
- Grab their attention with a powerful, clear introduction. Assemble your supporting information (the body of the speech) in an easy to follow structure. Finish with a conclusion that re-enforces what you were talking about and tells them clearly, what you want them to do.
- Winston Churchill summed this up neatly: “Tell them what you are going to tell them, Tell them, Tell them what you have just told them.”
3: The Messenger
As the messenger you are the crucial part of the trinity linking the message to the audience.
- Learn how to communicate clearly and how to sound interesting when you deliver your speech.
- Be aware of your body language. Does it enhance your message or detract from it. Your non verbal communication needs to support your verbal communication.
Like the messenger who ran 26 miles from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to bring news a Greek victory, you are like an athlete. You need to prepare and practice like an athlete.
- Know how to use any equipment such as microphones or projectors.
- Familiarize yourself with your speech, the equipment you will be using, and the audience.
- Have you prepared a plan B for when things go wrong?
Your aim is deliver a clear, confident speech that is engaging and effective. The best way to do this is by taking the time to understand your audience, spending time writing a clear, logical speech (the message) and practicing your delivery whilst preparing yourself thoroughly (the messenger) – That is the Holy Trinity of Public Speaking.
Check out the blog for loads of free public speaking tips as well as advice on speech writing, presentation skills and more general communication skills.