You know your topic well. You are passionate about what you do. You’re bright and strong-willed.
Are you that convincing when you present your ideas and thoughts to others? Do you command attention to your interests? Are you an agile speaker when it comes to present yourself with the help of words?
Public speaking is a form of art. And agility can be gained by practicing regularly and getting feedback from others. Even if you don’t have anybody to report back to you on how you did, you exercise your inner 6th sense and attention to “read” people’s reactions to what you’ve said. You’ll know it. You’ll feel their feedback with you gut.
When I started my journey in life, I didn’t have any resources to train myself in public speaking. First, I did it out of my room, being a sole presenter to the sole audience of “me.” And then when I was walking outside in the street, I was pretending I was speaking to a huge audience of people making my point clear and making myself sound eloquent.
Oh, those fine days of self-training! They are as dear to me as my children. They were the days of sweat, and frustration, and moments of truth and excitement. Such self-infused practices fueled me with high loads of motivation. I was flying high. And free. And joyful.
When a woman can verbalize her ideas and thoughts eloquently and with ease in front of the public, she makes the world go round with excitement and creativity spun around her powerful ideas.
Here’s what Rebecca Alvandi of Maxim uses when she speaks in front of crowds of people. And she does it on the regular basis. I thought it might be very helpful for all of us to be reminded of good public speaking manners.
Speak Like a Pro. Feel Like A Bird, Free
By Rebecca Alvandi, Co-Founder of Maxim
Here are some tips for your next speech so you can stay just as cool, calm and collected like a pro!
Public speaking can be a hair-raising, frightening experience. If you have stage fright or just hate speaking in front of audiences, it can be traumatizing.
Most jobs require you to speak well and give public presentations. The more prepared you are to speak, the better off you’ll be. Know your topic or presentation points well and take a deep breath before you start. The more confident you are, the more respect you will garner from your audience.
Eye contact is key when giving a presentation. If you’re looking at your hands or script, you aren’t engaging with your audience.
You need to connect with them and remind them that they are listening to a person and not to a recording. You and what you are saying is special.
To keep your audience interested, try to make eye contact with each section of the audience for at least 3 seconds. Don’t do the sprinkler dance move and turn your head back and forth mechanically. Try and act as if you’re having a conversation with a large group. Act as if you are telling a story at the dinner table. You never focus only on one person in particular. You involve everyone.
Breathing And Pacing
Slow down. You may think you’re speaking too slowly, but most speakers rush through their most important topics, which leaves the audience confused. The poignancy of your points are also lost when the audience doesn’t have time to absorb them.
The slower you go, the more people are likely to understand your ideas. Take a pause at each comma and period.
Nothing is worse than gasping for air at the end of a sentence. Your point drags, and your tone and decibel level get worse.
Varying intonation conveys emotion, and every speaker should be passionate no matter how boring the topic!
Ending a sentence with an upwards intonation can make even the most confident, intelligent speaker sound like she knows nothing at all. Practice varying your tones and try to convey your enthusiasm in those tones. Monotony can put an audience to sleep and crazy patterns of speech can put everybody on edge. Find a good balance and emote.
Speak loudly and try projecting your voice all the way to the back of the room. If people can’t hear you, they won’t try to listen.
Don’t speak into your notes and don’t turn your back to the audience. And, if you’re lucky enough to have a microphone, make sure you check the sound and levels before you begin.
Checking the levels of the PA system is a must and so is checking all things technical.
If you’re using a laptop for Powerpoint, a projector, a DVD player, or anything that uses cables, make sure they all work. Check meticulously – any malfunction can harm your image.
If by chance, you still encounter a technical difficulty, don’t let that throw you off. Apologize for the error and take it in stride. To cover up, play to your strengths. Flash a charming smile, make a joke, or something else that makes the audience forgive and forget.
Stand strong and proud.
It’s easy for your feet to dance to the tune of your nerves. Your body language is amplified to your audience and if they see you feeling uncomfortable, they will be less able to pay attention to your words and ideas.
This is one of the most critical elements of any speech.
Having a clear roadmap for the presentation of your ideas can change a rambling rant into a concrete argument.
If you have a thesis, supporting evidence, and a conclusion, then you’re ten steps ahead of the game. Try giving each part of your speech a subheading, but don’t get too bogged down by structure. Your point will shine through if you follow your guidelines from point A to point B.
Know your subject
You actually don’t need a script. A lot of people mess up speeches because they rely too much on scripts and forget what they know.
Don’t recite your speech word for word because that’s reading, not public speaking.
The more you know your subject, the better off you are with just an outline. Research your topic and focus on remembering the goals of your speech.
Visual aids enhance engagement. Powerpoints are a magnificent tool.
A few things to keep in mind while creating a good Powerpoint follow
– Use less than six words per bullet point unless it’s a quote. Don’t crowd your slide with too much text
– Graphs and chart speak more than text
– Use contrasting colors for text and background, but make sure it is still easy to read from afar
– Don’t go crazy with animation or distracting pictures.
– Provide a speech roadmap in the beginning so people can assess how your points will unfold
– Think about offering handouts of the slides so people can easily track your points if they lose concentration at some point
– Keep it simple and you’ll avoid people reading your slides or handouts instead of listening to you
Introduction And Conclusion
First impressions are important; so are introductions. Use a clever, fun or catchy introduction that will immediately pique your audience’s attention.
Let them know what you will be discussing and what your primary objectives are.
When you conclude, summarize your points and how your argument pertains to the world today and what your audience should take away from your speech. Make sure this answers the “so what” question.
DO NOT end with, “Okay, and… uh… that’s it.” Instead, say something like, “Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoyed my presentation,” or something along those lines. Consider giving them the opportunity to ask questions for clarification.
Uhhhs and Likes
Avoid using these two words like the plague.
They can sneak into your speech and take down your entire argument. If you don’t use these words, find others that you repeat often and unnecessarily. Eliminate them.
If you wish to learn more about Rebecca Alvandi and her Maxim philosophy, you can find her at www.maximhy.com With the “fierce woman” attitude, Rebecca has achieved recognition among her women-consumers by offering them a superbly comfortable and organic personal hygiene lifestyle. Kudos to Rebecca Alvandi with thanks!