Mark Westbrook is a leading UK acting coach turned public speaking coach. Below in this blog, he offers 19 quick and effective public speaking lessons for you.
It can be nerve-wracking to stand in front of a group of people and give a speech. Public speaking requires confidence, charisma, and the ability to capture an audience's attention.
Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help people hone their public speaking skills. One of the most important things for a public speaker to do is focus on their breath. Taking deep breaths helps to relax the body and ease nerves.
In addition, it is important to make eye contact with the audience and speak clearly. A new public speaking teacher can help students learn these essential skills and more. With practice, anyone can become a confident and skillful public speaker.
# 1 — - First and foremost, focus on your breath. Taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth will help to relax your body and ease any nerves.
# 2 — Make eye contact with members of your audience. This will help to engage them and make them feel like you're speaking directly to them.
# 3 — - Speak clearly and at a steady pace. This will ensure that people can understand you and follow along with what you're saying.
# 4 — - Practice, practice, practice! The more experience you have giving speeches, the more confident you'll become. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere. Give yourself credit for taking the initiative to improve your public speaking skills!
# 5 — Qualifications aren't the only reason someone is an expert. If you have experience, you're equally qualified to present on your specialist topic. Have confidence in your experience, not just the letters after your name.
# 6 — Being an expert doesn't mean you have to be formal. In fact, being too formal can actually make your audience members tune out. Be relatable and use language that everyone will understand.
# 7 — A sense of humor goes a long way in public speaking. Adding a few jokes into your speech can help to break the ice, engage your audience, and make your material more memorable. Just be careful not to overdo it!
# 8 — Public speaking isn't just about delivering a speech. It's also about how you carry yourself and the energy you bring into the room. Be aware of your body language and use it to project confidence.
# 9 — Your voice is an important tool for public speaking. Use it to emphasize key points and add interest to your material.Tell stories. People love hearing stories, especially ones that are personal or relatable. Stories are a great way to connect with your audience and make your point more effectively.
# 10 - Don't be afraid to use props. Props can help to illustrate your point and make your presentation more engaging. Just make sure that you know how to use them properly! Using multimedia can also be a great way to engage your audience. If done correctly, visuals can help people better understand and remember your material.
# 11 - Some people are visual learners, while others prefer to hear information. As a public speaker, it's important to cater to both types of learners.
Use handouts, pictures, or other visuals to supplement your material and reach everyone in the room.
Similarly, don't forget to verbalize what people are seeing on the screen.
# 12 - Make sure to leave time for questions at the end of your presentation. This is a great opportunity for audience members to get clarification on points they didn't understand and to further engage with the material.
Allowing time for questions also shows that you're open to feedback and willing to have a dialogue with your audience.
Never underestimate the power of a well-delivered speech.
# 13 - Make a video recording of yourself while delivering talks and evaluate how well you're doing. You'll discover things that you didn't realize you were doing. I used to walk around a lot when I was presenting before. For me, it wasn't nervousness; it was simply because I got bored of staying in one location all the time.
A recording will also capture your voice and how well you project it. This is important because your voice is a major part of public speaking.
If you don't have access to a video camera, ask a friend or family member to record you.
# 14 - When giving a speech, never write it down word for word and memorize it. You'll be much more apprehensive, and you'd realize that even if you only forget a few words, you might have a total mind-blank and lose the thread of your talk. It's critical to absorb the information in your presentation in such a manner that remembering it is easy. If you are so focused on reiterating each remembered word, you won't be focused on your audience but on recalling from memory!
# 15 - Recording yourself is helpful - but it's not the same as delivering a presentation to an actual audience. If possible, find someone who can be your practice audience and give you honest feedback.
# 16 - Place questions in specific places in your presentation. It will re-engage the listener. See if you can encourage reactions from the audience, with tactics such as: "Raise your hand if you agree that it's been a great weekend retreat?".
# 17 — Although your content should be authoritative and well-researched, you should not just try to inform the audience of the data - the information. You should also change your audience. You don't want to simply inundate people with a lot of information; instead, convey your opinions. When you talk about something that you truly care about, even your voice will sound different.
# 18 - Don't talk about yourself too much. Focus on the audience, and even use the word 'you' more often than referring to yourself. Make the audience feel important by talking to them about them.
# 19 - Pauses in your speech can be beneficial. You give your audience a chance to consider your concept and compare it to their own problems.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and found the public speaking lessons from Mark Westbrook helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you!
Until next time, take care! :)
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AUTHOR: Mark Westbrook, Public Speaking Coach Scotland.