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Public Speaking Tips

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Public Speaking Tips
Simple Tips for Successful Public Speaking

Do you want your audience to remember your presentation for a long time? Do you want them to be moved or persuaded? Then you need to connect with them on an emotional level. Chris Witt, of San Diego, coaches executives and technical experts who want to give more effective presentations. He says, “When you connect with your audience (also called building rapport), they become your allies. They become much more likely to pay attention and cooperate with you.”

Audiences connect emotionally. So your presentation has to have emotion. That doesn’t mean you must cry or yell to make your presentation effective. But it means that you, as a speaker, cannot distance yourself from the emotions you feel about your topic. By harnessing your emotions and experiencing them, you can share them with your audience. Andrew Dlugan, an award winning speaker and speech evaluator says, “When you mask your emotions, you sever all connection with the audience. They might as well be reading your speech from a boring magazine. … Your connection is strongest when you effectively transfer your emotion ... Too often, speakers attempt to be ‘proper’ or ‘dignified’ when the occasion does not call for it. By masking their true emotions they sacrifice authenticity and lose the audience.  … It’s really a very simple concept—if you are feeling it, then show it.”

The reverse is also true; if you’re not really feeling it, don’t show it. If something doesn’t really move you to tears don’t conjure crocodile tears. Audiences can detect insincerity and nothing severs an emotional connection faster than falsehood.

Practicing your speech beforehand can help you communicate your emotions genuinely, especially if you’re not used to giving presentations. Inexperienced speakers often talk too quickly, and stiffly remain in the same position throughout the presentation. They may even read their speech, which makes it very difficult for an audience to connect. Practice your presentation until you feel comfortable. After you’ve practiced your speech for a while video tape yourself giving it. If using a device such as the portable podium, set up as it will be for the speech. When reviewing your practice tape, are you relaxed enough that your body language and facial expressions look and feel natural? How about your vocal inflections? Are you able to make eye contact?   Is your speech too long or too short?

Communicating your emotions authentically is one of the most important elements in becoming a better speaker. You have to convince your audience that you are absolutely certain about what you’re saying. Pete Ryckman, executive speech writer, sums it up well, “Successful speakers communicate profound belief in their own messages. They do it with emotion. Don’t pull back from your emotions. Move toward them.”

For further tips on public speaking, see the following sources:




Ashley Barrett is a professional writer, editor, and researcher for ProProducts™

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