In organizations and in business it is essential to communicate across people and across departments. If you’re part of an organization that has several people in it, it is important to keep the level of communication to second nature. The reason why this is so important is because with several moving parts and different employees engaging in their different roles it is essential to coordinate and work as a single unit towards a shared goal.
When it comes to communication methods in the corporate environment, nothing elicits more attention than speaking in public in front of the employees. Public speaking carries the mass broadcast value that an email carries but it has the power of a personal approach that drives the urgency and sincerity to a maxim. Public speaking is the next best thing to looking each person in the eye and sincerely having a conversation with them but it is efficient in delivering the message to thousands within a single timeframe.
Incidentally, public speaking is also one of the most difficult skills to master. For one, the concept of speaking in front of a large audience with their full attention on you tends to exacerbate one’s feelings of fear in committing a mistake. The other factor that makes public speech a taxing skill to acquire is the fact that your speech is live and is delivered in real-time with no room for mistakes. Finally, what makes a public speech difficult is getting the attention and penetrating the intuition and emotions of such a varied group of people with individual opinions.
The good news is, now that you know these hurdles that make public speaking one of the most feared things in the world, you can conquer it. We’ve put together a few tips to improve your public speaking skills.
Make yourself comfortable
Making yourself comfortable doesn’t just mean dressing up appropriately and maintain a position that makes you feel relaxed. We also talk about mental comfort in this particular tip. Being relaxed mentally requires a lot of preparation and a lot of rehearsals to ensure your message is delivered properly and accurately. Being in a relaxed, mental state of mind will make that speech roll out of your tongue in the most effective way possible.
2. Feel confident in front of your audience
If you are feeling nervous and if this is the first time you’ve ever spoken in front of a large audience they don’t need to know that particular detail. The fact that you were selected to deliver a speech and take away precious minutes from a collective group of people means that you were selected because you carried a particular level of expertise in the subject you’re about to address. Expressing how nervous you are, how ill-prepared you are, or how you don’t know what to say because this is your first time will result i
n either your audience disengaging and choosing not to listen to your speech anymore or they may feel disappointed and upset that they wasted their time to allot a good chunk of their schedule to listen to someone who is a nervous wreck. Stand tall and stand proud.
3. Capture your audience’s attention before that span expires
Psychological studies state that the average attention span of an adult human being is 4 minutes and 22 seconds. If your speech is intended to deliver a short message, remember to keep it within that timeframe. However, most of the time, speeches require a more detailed a
nd thorough subject that needs to be expounded on and eventually will lead to you surpassing the required time to contain their attention. A great way of maintaining your audience’s attention is by triggering an engaging moment when you start and in between your speech, before that 4 minutes and 22 seconds runs down along with their attention.
An engaging activity can be a funny anecdote, a dramatic story, an emotional picture, an informative graphic, or an activity that involves selecting a member of the audience to join you and help you out. Activities like these keep the audience glued to your speech and they also help enhance the message you’re looking at delivering.
4. Use visual aids to help deliver your point
Thanks to the delivery of information through various devic
es and gadgets, the human race is much more visual than ever. An estimated 65% of the population have been identified as visual learners. Thus, during your speech you need to be able to use visual aids to highlight certain points, show supporting facts, and bring out feelings of emotion that can help deliver your point across. A visual aid must never be your verbatim speech instead it should be a complement to your speech and you maintain the status as the star of the presentation.
5. Always express your gratitude
Like we mentioned earlier, your audience invested a fair amount of their respective schedules to come out and listen to what you have to say. It’s just fair that you end your speech thanking them for their time and for their questions, if there was any. Courtesy goes a long way, believe me.
With these tips and a speech filled with deep content and information you should be on your way to delivering an ovation-filled speech. Best of luck!