Wednesday, April 18, 2012


stage fright
Have you ever being invited to make a ten minute speech and you feel like vanishing into thin airs immediately your name is called? You are not alone. Delivering an effective presentation to 20 or more people is becoming increasingly difficult. With the emergence of the internet, listeners have better access to information and expect more content from speakers. You fail to make a strong point in the first three minutes of your speech and they quickly tune off their minds. How then do you deliver an effective speech that not only grabs attention but produces results? The following tips would help you master your public speaking skills
  • Grab their attention
Begin with something to get the attention of your audience. This might be a startling statement, statistic, or your own story. Listeners pay close attention when a person begins with, "Just two days ago, I received a phone call from a friend…" A current event is also another great way to begin: “On prime time news yesterday, you might have heard of the man who….” A question is another great way to make people listen. "How many of you feel our education system does not prepare as for the job market?" might be a way to begin a presentation about unemployment. Whatever technique you use, when you grab the attention of the audience you are on your way to a successful speech. Start with a strong introduction that lets the audience know within the first 30 seconds where you're going. Don't reveal your message but give them a clue.
  • Research the topic
Take time to find out all that you need to know about the topic. Even if it is a subject you know, take the time to brush up. Don’t assume because you have been speaking on that topic for some time you can just mount the podium. Researching the topic would expose you to certain information you may not have known.
  •  Make eye contact
Slowly scan across the audience and look people in the eye as you talk. A good audience gives energy back to you and participates when you demonstrate a friendly presence, so invite them in. This is also how you can see if your information is being comprehended, and helps you spot people with questions.
  • Include a "wow" factor in your speech.
public speaking skills
Make your audience go “wow!” in the course of your presentation. Yes, something in your speech should make your audience think, "Wow!" The “Wow!” effect could be a story, a dramatic point, an unusual statistic, or an effective visual that helps the audience understand immediately. With a "wow" factor, you then have something to look forward to in the speech that you know will have an impact on your audience. You'll become a more enthusiastic speaker because the "wow" factor will get you as well as your audience pumped for the speech.
Finally, leave the audience with something to think about. People remember best what you say last; make your last words a thought to ponder. For example, you may end the speech with, “Just remember, it is not what you hear, but what you do with what you have heard that matters.”