Being good at public speaking is a useful tool in almost every career. In public relations, public speaking is great way to communicate your message to your target audience. Events like conferences, networking and promotional events might require you to inform, entertain and influence an audience.
A good public speaker is not only able to communicate to an audience, but also engage them and motivate them. Here are some tips to help you build skills to improve your public speaking:
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Be ready! A good public speaker knows what their talking about. It is essential to do research into the topic and have an idea of the main points you want to discuss. If you are well-versed in your topic, then you’ll be more confident communicating the information to the public. Once you’ve got a handle on the topic, go in front of the mirror and practice. Better yet, try practicing in front a friend or colleague. It’s true what they say – practice makes perfect.
Connect with the audience
Developing a relationship with the audience is a key aspect of successfully engaging and communicating your message. Use humor, anecdotes, personal stories and relatable contect to make an impactful connection. Hand gestures and facial expressions help keep the audience engaged and interested.
Know your audience
Find out who your audience is. Based on their age, gender, interests, profession, etc. you should tailor your speech to fit their background. This will make you and your material more relatable and understandable. Use language they will understand. If you have an audience without knowledge of your area of expertise, then avoid industry jargon. Think about what your want your audience to take away and structure your speech accordingly.
Keep it Interesting
You don’t want anyone dozing off during your speech. Inject a funny anecdote or add a moving story. Audiences enjoy when speeches when there’s a personal touch and the speaker isn’t just spewing facts and statistics. A story can go a long way to keeping the audience engaged.
Do it regularly
The more often you practice public speaking, the more easier it will be. You will understand what works and what doesn’t work. You will also learn to relax and have more confidence in your abilities as a public speaker. A good way to get a hang of public speaking is to start at a small event and then build up to bigger events and conferences. After a while, you’ll feel comfortable on stage and you will be able to deliver your message more and more effectively to different audiences.
Feedback can come from many channels including yourself. Watch your speeches afterwards and see where you can improve. You can also get feedback from members of the audience and your colleagues. Constructive criticism is a great way to improve on any skill.