The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking

Speaking before an audience often seems scary. But with proper preparation, you will be able to deliver your message with greater ease and comfort.
Professional public speakers are always a pleasure to watch.

It’s really amazing to see them speak before an audience, whether it is big or small, captivating everyone’s attention while communicating their thoughts in the most effective manner. They make the task look so easy – and the fact of the matter is that a lot of people struggle to deliver a short speech without stuttering. Many find it difficult not to get too nervous and sweaty in front of a crowd to the point, not to mention that some actually experience having a mental block in the middle of their messages!

Public speaking is definitely not an easy thing but with adequate preparation, it can be a lot less stressful. Here are some do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind before giving your next talk:

1. Do write an outline

As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

The same can be said when it comes to public speaking. Planning is a must and so you should do your best to prepare yourself for the assignment. Once you have been given the topic, do your best to study about it. Do some research on the internet, read books and magazines. You will accumulate a lot of interesting material as you do your home work. Remember that your main goal is to make your message relevant to your audience. That means learning as much as you can about the subject and keeping your thoughts organized. This will be easier to do if you create an outline.

2. Do practice a lot

If preparation is the secret to coming up with an organized talk, practice is crucial towards making sure that you deliver the message in the right way.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways to practice is to simply stand in front of a mirror and start giving your speech. Pay particular attention to your body language as well as the tone of your voice. This will allow you to identify (and address) any potential weaknesses you may have.

Alternatively, you can use a video camera so you can watch yourself.

3. Don’t read the speech entirely

While there is nothing wrong with occasionally glancing at your notes, you have to make sure that you will not read your message word for word. It may seem like a nice easy way out for newbies to just read the talk in its entirety but take this into consideration – you are supposed to be a “speaker,” not a “reader.” Everyone is bored with a speaker like that.

4. Do not begin (or end) your speech with an apology

This is a common mistake. Too many inexperienced speakers often begin their messages by apologizing and pointing out how nervous they are. The audience doesn’t need to hear that. In fact, they might not even notice that you are nervous if you do not mention it. When concluding your talk, make sure to end on a high note and not another apology.

As you apply these simple tips, you will be on your way to becoming a good public speaker.

By: Michael Folgers

Michael Folgers is a consultant for corporate affairs. He's also spent two years in the public sector, training civil service professionals. He currently speaks at corporate and public events, squeezes in time to hit the bike trails whenever possible. You can find professional public spekers and more at PlatinumSpeakers.

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Article Tags: public speaking , professional public speakers , public speaking tips

Submitted On Jun 17, 2014. Viewed 495 times.

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