The number one fear in the world is fear of public speaking. Most people are totally freaked out by the concept of talking in front of a group. As a speaker you cannot be afraid, you must enjoy being in front of large groups of people. The only way for this to happen is through practice and repetition. However here is a phrase to remember to keep you excited about speaking: “The person who holds the pen makes the most money.” Remember that whenever you start to feel nervous.
The rest of this article is dedicated to helping you become a dynamic public speaker.
Keys for Dynamic Public Speaking
When you speak in front of people you should wear dark clothing. NOT all black. You should avoid loud flashy colors because they will take the audiences attention away from your face. Wear pants and long sleeve shirts. You want the audiences attention to bee drawn to your hands and your face. A speaker should also be immaculately groomed and clean-shaven. Studies have proven that sub-consciously people relate facial hair with being dishonest and/or having something to hide. You do not need this triggering negative emotions in the room.
One of the most important things you can remember to do while presenting is Smile. Smiling softens your face as well as what your saying. The audience needs to see that you’re happy and excited to be sharing this opportunity with them. Smiling also releases endorphins into your system, which helps you relax
Do NOT Make Eye Contact
There is no quicker way for a speaker to lose their train of thought, than to look into the eyes of someone in the audience. Make your audience think your looking into their eyes by looking at their foreheads instead this is a great tactic for making people in the audience feel involved and important.
Move a Lot, But Not to Much
Be animated, It is more enjoyable for you and the audience. Movement also helps you send a more powerful message. Use lots of hand movements while your talking, but keep your hands in the box. The box is an imaginary box going from your neck to your waist and just a little past your shoulders. Use this box to keep your gestures from becoming too expansive, which can distract the audience. Avoid pacing around, it makes you look nervous, if you need to move only go two or three steps in any direction.
Do NOT Tap Your Feet or Click the Pen Cap
Avoid tapping your feet as it shows that you are nervous, and it also distracts the audience. The same goes for clicking the pen cap, many times you don’t even know your doing it, but the audience does. You do not want anything to break the spell. HOT Tip: Replace the cap on the pen each time you use it, a dry erase pen left uncapped can dry out in one presentation.
NEVER Point into the Audience
Pointing is a negative gesture, and needs to be avoided while speaking. If you need to point to someone, then use an open hand gesture or a loose fist. Same goes for the pen, do NOT point with it.
Show Your Palms
When you speak show the palms of your hands to the audience frequently. Sub-consciously this tells them that you have nothing to hide and that you are not threatening them.
NEVER Turn Your Back on The Audience
No matter what, NEVER turn your back on the audience, or you’ve lost them, you might get them back, but either way you have broken the spell. Many times when you are presenting you use a dry erase board or an overhead projector and it become very easy to turn your back…be conscious of this fact. Learn how to write with your off hand, so that no matter which side of the board you are on you never have to show your back to the audience.
Get the Audience to Laugh
Your first goal when you start speaking is to get the audience to laugh. Tell a joke, or say something funny or amusing. When a speaker can make the audience laugh they feel on top of the world. It is the best confidence boost you can get during a presentation. It also lifts a huge weight from your shoulders and you instantly loosen up.
Speak Clearly and Loudly
You need to speak clearly and loudly enough so that everyone can hear you easily. Articulate your words and use proper English. Do not use complicated words. However if you do have to use a complicated word make sure you explain it without making anyone feel dumb.
Involve the Audience
Great speakers get the audience involved in the presentation. They ask general questions for everyone to answer. They also pick out people in the audience to answer specific questions and they do it in a fun and easygoing manner. Asking questions is a good way to keep the audience on their toes. It is also very effective if you see someone goofing off or not paying attention, you can ask them a question, which will embarrass them (People have a guilty conscience) and they will then pay attention for the rest of the presentation so that they don’t get embarrassed again.
Create a Great ID
At the beginning of your presentation you should introduce yourself and the best way to do that is with an ID. An ID is simply a short summary of yourself that tells about you, your experiences in life and with your company. Your ID should be short and powerful. A speaker uses their ID in their presentations to relate to the people in the audience and to show the audience that he/she is a real person, not some inhuman presenter. If a speaker has a great ID every person in the audience will be able to relate with the speaker in some way. Work hard on creating your ID and have it evolve as you evolve. Tie your ID in with your presentation so it flows smoothly together. Here are some questions your id should answer:
-Who I am -Where I was -What I saw -What I did -Results
Do NOT Memorize the Presentation
Do not try to memorize your presentation word for word. Only memorize the key parts. A great speaker never does the presentation the same way twice. He still gets the same information across he just tailors the way he presents it depending on the audience. Have fun with it. If you’re not having fun you can’t sell the audience.
Ditch the Ego
You must lose your ego in order to become a good speaker. Nobody wants to listen to a speaker that’s full of himself. However people will flock to hear a dynamic presenter tell an interesting story or present an opportunity.
Above all you must be excited and overflowing with energy. Energy and excitement are contagious, and a good speaker will infect his audience with his energy and excitement.
“People will be more excited about your enthusiasm, than the depths of your knowledge.”
If you want to become a dynamic speaker, you must practice your craft. Speaking is not like riding a bicycle. You do forget how and you do lose your skill. Practice in front of the mirror at home. Have a representative film several of your presentations and then watch them later and critique yourself. Get together with a group of other speakers and practice together. Regardless of how you do it, remember: Practice makes improvement, not perfect.
Tanner Larsson is an entrepreneur and an accomplished public speaker, who in addition to hosting his own workshops, is also often a guest or keynote speaker at business conventions and seminars. His website provides a wealth of information to help you become a dynamic speaker.