Even some of the world’s sharpest minds get stunned by the thought of how ridiculous some of their thoughts sound when spoken aloud. This may not necessarily be true or objective, but it is enough to crush one’s self esteem and make a permanent damage to their oratory skill. Luckily, there are more than a few ways in which you can become a much better public speaker and learn the art of capturing the attention of your listeners with nothing but your own words and expressions. Needless to say, this is a skill that can benefit you in both private and professional life so here are few tips.
Concept Over Content
Four score and seven years ago… apart from the most diehard history fans, not many people know The Gettysburg Address to the letter. However, everyone knows what it was about. It is in human nature to fill in the gaps of what was forgotten when recalling events later on, but this will only take place if the speech was memorable to begin with. In order to achieve this, you need to put an emphasis on the concept over content. A speech has a clear purpose of conveying a message and if you manage to do just that, it will be considered a success, regardless of forgetting a redundant sentence or two.
Keep in mind that your speech should always be adapted for those who are not really familiar with the topic. It is your goal to be understood by absolutely everyone, but this doesn’t mean you should oversimplify or underestimate your audience. You see, what you need is to back up some of your more complicated concepts with graphic and vivid examples from real life. Pretend you are speaking to a child, but restrain yourself from becoming demeaning or assertive. Go from point A to point B, but make sure that everyone gets a general idea.
Don’t Be Repetitive
Sure, some thoughts are worth repeating more than once, but this shouldn’t become a habit. There is nothing wrong with emphasizing the point of your speech and even repeating it a few times just to make sure everyone remembers, but if you tend to repeat everything you said over and over again, this can backfire. In some situations, you may be asked to hold a speech for a specific amount of time. Still, if you don’t have enough material, sometimes it is better to ask your audience for their opinion, rather than water down your speech by unnecessary repetition.
Using PowerPoint Presentations Adequately
Some people make a mistake of believing that it is ok to read from their PowerPoint presentation. Well, if this was enough, the speech wouldn’t be necessary in the first place. All you would have to do is send a circular email with the presentation in the attachment and there you have it. Sure, a professional PowerPoint presentation can come in handy. For example, it helps you stay on topic by following the checkpoints marked by the slides. However, you need to remember that it is there only to give you a visual support and help your audience make a connection between your words and some images. Seeing how they say that one image is worth a thousand words, this is a quite handy addition to your oratory skill.
Make It Personal
Earlier on, we spoke about backing your ideas with real life examples. Well, things usually go even better if these examples come from your own experience. In the very start, your audience may put you on a pedestal just because you are in the role of the speaker and they are the ones listening. Making it personal may take some of the unnecessary formality from your speech and ease up the tension in the room. Needless to say, this is something both you and your audience are bound to benefit from.
Make Your Words Come to Life
Finally, the way the audience responds to your words depends on you and you alone. If you decide to sit in your chair and speak in the most monotonous voice, even the most inspiringly speech is bound to sound boring and insignificant. Make your words come to life with your gestures, the volume of your voice and even interaction with the audience. Being all over the place, using your hands, your facial expressions and otherwise employing non-verbal communication can significantly improve the way your speech is received. This is definitely something worth having in mind.
By being able to captivate the attention of groups of people or large masses, you can change the world. Such examples are numerous throughout the history, some famous some infamous, yet no one can deny the power of the spoken word. While natural charisma plays a significant role here, rhetoric is something that can be learned. A skill like that is always handy to have by your side.