How to prepare a good speech and engage with your audience? Pro tips for public speakers!
Public speaking is a challenge for many of us. No matter how large your audience is gonna be, it’s worth to make sure you’re familiar with simple rules that every future speaker should remember! Storytelling, humor and simplicity – find out how to use them during your next public event!
Keep it simple.
Jon Favreau, the author of Barack Obama’s presidential speeches, notes that the audience is able to focus on listening for up to 20 minutes. Although the topic you are about to talk is certainly hard to exhaust in such a short time, remember to make the message understandable for everyone present at the speech.
„Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.”
When working on shortening material, remember to:
- do not speak quickly to fit in time. Such action may lead to the opposite effect.
- select just 3-4 examples instead of 10 to present the selected problem. Less is more!
- include crucial informations at the beginning and at the end of your presentation, as those are the moments where your audience will be fully focused.
Humour – a secret weapon during your public speech. Is it worth the risk?
Humor lets you release tension, introduce a more relaxed atmosphere, or even get the attention of many listeners after losing it before. The problem, however, is the right balance and introducing the right amount of humor. Otherwise, the professional speech may take the form of a stand-up, which we do not want. And certainly not at a serious conference! What are the simple rules used by well-known and popular TED speakers?
- surprising ending of the stories
- personal anecdotes
Check out entertaining TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson too see the our favourite example of using humour during speech!
Master your storytelling skills.
Much is said about the amazing impact of storytelling. It does not surprise us at all: stories have tremendous power! Imagine if someone just presents you with 10 facts that do not connect at all. Now imagine that someone told you an extremely interesting story. The same content, but a completely different way of serving!
Choose your words wisely and shape them into an intriguing story! Introduce an interesting character, a problem to solve along with obstacles standing in the way. You can use your own experience or let your imagination run wild – one thing counts – finish the story with the right punch line!
When we think about storytelling the very first thought in our mind is our brilliant Mariana Atencio!
Find out more about Mariana here:
This is probably the most important advice. Your speech can be thrilling, extremely fun or engaging – but that’s not all. A successful speech is one that will bring something new to your listeners' life! Your recipients expect to learn something they did not know yet, that you would make them aware or even remind them – it could be knowledge, information or even a specific emotion!
When planning your speech, think about what you would like your audience to answer after your speech – „I had fun”, „It was very charismatic”, or maybe „I just learned something very important”?
Focus on content, not body language.
It may sounds a bit cliche but simply be yourself! It is often said that a good speaker is one who gesticulates a lot, is dynamic, and sometimes even runs around the stage. It is true, however, that many listeners can get tired of such over-enthusiasm from the speaker. Some people will prefer a speaker with a calm, facts-focused speech and minimalized amount of gestures. As you can see there is no better or worse option. However, we know one thing – there is nothing worse than playing someone you are not. Listen to yourself, behave on stage as your intuition tells you. You have a great personality and temperament that your listeners want to see!