Public speaking is an art.
to become an artist one must Practice.
Public speaking is not an inborn quality which people possess. It is a skill they develop with time. Thiruvalluvar, celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher said, “Many indeed may fearlessly die in the war, but few are those who are fearless in the assembly of the learned”. Isn’t that true? We may go to war taking a sword but it is hard for us to go in front of a public and speak. Why is it so? Reasons are plenty but those reasons should not stop you from standing upon a stage and speaking your heart out. Here are some points for you to master the art of public speaking.
- Prepare own content: If you get your content from Google or some other source and memorize it as many time as you can, it doesn’t matter, you will forget, get stuck and stumble. Of course, you can get points from another source but the actual words, you have to make it. Only then you could remember better and even if you forget you know how to move on with the speech. Moreover, while you speak, wouldn’t it be better if it is your own thoughts along with your own voice?
- Rehearse: Practice your speech and do not memorize it. Split it into as many parts as you want. The opening, main body, and closing. Try speaking it loud and in front of the mirror if you want to see your own expressions. The more you rehearse, the more confidence you gain. Having a good amount of confidence can make your speech great. Use notes one and only if it is necessary. It is better not to lose the connection with the audience.
- Body Language: How you speak has more importance than what you speak. Imagine if you stand still without any movements and keep speaking in the same tone. People would beg you to finish your speech and get down. What if you show that your legs and hands are shaking with nervousness? Same result as before. You have to move your body in such a way that it attracts people. You should show yourself as confident even though you are not, nobody will test your confidence, it is what you show them. Have good hand gestures and walk a bit to keep the audience engaged to you.
- Eye Contact: It has a major role in making people actually listen to you. Even if you deliver a wonderful speech, without out making eye contact it would be useless since people would have lost the interest to listen to you. Look at the eyes of your audience while speaking. Just a few seconds and it makes them feel that you are speaking to them and they listen to you. When there are a large number of audience it is hard to look at each of them. But it is possible. For that start seeing the person sitting in the farthest right corner then middle and then the left corner. Then the first row right, middle, left and complete a circle. Same way for the middle rows and gradually you will end up having eye contact with most of the people.
- Voice Tone: Monotonous is boring so do monotone. Like tides, your speech should rise and fall at appropriate places. The delivery speed should not be too fast or too slow but you can do those at some places to attract attention. Raise your voice but don’t startle people and low your voice but don’t go inaudible. Play with your voice box.
- Seize the opportunity: All the above said points are possible only if you get an opportunity to speak. Never excuse yourself that there are no opportunities. Look around there are many opportunities that you missed because of various reasons and there are yet more opportunities coming your way. Seize those. You may not perform well at first. You must have the grit to stand again in front of the crowd to prove yourself that you are not a coward. This time stand better than the last time. And one day when you hear the applause from the crowd in front of you, all those shame you confronted before, would be a long forgotten one.