Every amazing public speaker have four things in common, other great presenters have acquired this skill over time through practice and self-awareness. Experienced public speakers know that every great presentation requires a certain panache, it is an actual skill.
Stage fright aside, every literate person can stand up in front of a crowd, and read from cue cards or teleprompter. However, to ensure that message delivery audience engagement must be set in stone. It is the only way to make a meaningful impact and inspire your listeners.
Confidence in themselves
Every effective speaker knows that to be able to connect with others, you should know and understand who you are, The most effective speakers know exactly how to fit their own strength and weaknesses as a person and use that as a roadmap on how best to connect with others. They constantly work on their weaknesses, can capitalize on their greatest strength.
Create a list. Are you witty, funny, are you a great story teller? Can you adjust your language to the level of education of your core audience? Do you have a talent on making people participate? Are you great at making people understand complex ideas? Do you over simplify? Can you use metaphors on the fly? Do you have problems with eye contact? Does your voice change pitch when you get excited? All these need to be listed as strengths and weaknesses.
Think strongly about how each trait affect your interaction with your audience. Highlight the traits that you already have, and work on the skills that you need but don’t have, and remove bad habits that you may have.
If you need help identifying your interpersonal strengths? StrengthsFinder 2.0 is an excellent resource to kickstart.
Think that public speaking is storytelling
The truth of the matter is, telling a story on the latest gossip is really no different from public speaking, and your ability to create a fluid understandable narrative for people to understand is the core essence of public speaking. It doesn’t matter if you are talking to your children, your peers, your friends, your bosses. The most important trait is to create a narrative and convey that narrative in an engaging fluid manner.
Story Leaders™ have advocated that:
“Others may not think what we think, but through a shared story, they can feel what we feel.” Have you noticed how people can remember gossip, but find it hard to absorb listed information?
People can find engagement in stories. A well told story like gospels can convey a message more powerfully than any type of PowerPoint presentation. It is with stories that people can be engaged and immersed in the idea that you are trying to communicate.
Ideally stories are told at the start of the speech, this will create an environment of immersion. The story, again told well, will put you and your audience in the same page right away. It will open up their minds to the message once you expound it.
Do not be afraid to try to capture the audience imagination through a well told story. This will stay with a person more than information sharing ever will.
It is better to give than to receive
The whole point of the public speaking exercise is to share; you are sharing information, a concept, an experience, and your audience is not always there to receive. In an ideal world, your audience voluntarily came to your presentation because they are dying to hear what you have to say. In reality, especially in a business presentation or in school, the audience is there because a higher power told them to be there at that point in time.
Simon Sinek in his brilliant TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”, is a great example of how sharing insightful information inspire the audience.
What stands out about this presentation is generosity. Be Generous. You are there to share, so share! Hold nothing back, tell the audience everything. It is important to be in the mindset that people always want to receive something that would benefit them. So give it! If you want your message to reach your audience make sure they want it. Make sure they know why they want it, make them beg for it. This is the main formula of all modern Tele-evangelist. If you want your soul to be saved, you have to listen to what I have to say, and they do share a lot, and people listen for their own benefit.
Every person value an open, honest, and generous speaker. The more open you are, the open they become, the more honest you become the more then connect you, the more generous you are, the more they learn.
The more they learn, the more commitment you get from them. So be generous.
Confidence is the key to success
This is self-explanatory, a shy timid boring presentation will not only fail to deliver the message, and it will waste everybody’s time. A dry unengaged speaker will not capture any audience, regardless of the message being conveyed.
It is understandable to feel anxiety in any sort of Public Speaking engagement, even experienced speakers feel this all the time. They will never admit, and you will never know.
That is the secret.
Confidence will overshadow any feeling of anxiety. It will cover the fear they feel so effectively, and will never admit to it. They will deliver the message with such certainty. You will not know how they truly feel.
Every time that you have a public speaking engagement and you feel intimidated by the goals, your audience, and the task at hand. Always remember that once you are on the podium, microphone in hand, you have a strong ally with you. Your own audience. They want you to succeed. The last thing they want is to sit there listening to a boring speech. All the people in the room has committed at least five minutes of their precious lives to you. They want it to mean something. They want their sacrifice to be worth it.
Bonus: Visualize your potential
Visualize yourself as a great speaker, practice, do relaxation exercises like deep breathing and stretching. Liberate yourself from all fears, or hide it. They will not know the difference. Your audience want to be enthralled by you, they want you to stand up there, and make lives more interesting for them. You really do not have anything to fear. Your audience do not want to waste their time. The door is open. You do not need their permission, you already have it. So stand up there and give them what they came for.
To be a great public speaker is not easy, It is however a learned skill. There are key principles and there is practice. Like all skills. It can be learned and perfected.