Public Speaking

PUBLICSPEAKING


Hints for Effective Public Speaking:

An effective speaker will always include an introduction and a conclusion in a presentation, just as he or she would in a writtenpaper. A good introduction will include some of the following, which are known in public speaking as interest devices:

* Reference to the Audience (use of "you" or "your")
* Questions
* Humor (if appropriate to the topic at hand)
* Anecdote (an amusing story, if appropriate)
* Examples
* Startling Statements (often an effective attention-getter)
* Quotations
* Audio-Visual Aids (now often computer-related in business presentations)

Please note that the above interest devices will be used not only in the introduction; they will be sprinkled throughout a good presentation in order to maintain a high degree of audience interest.

An effective conclusion is vital to an excellent presentation because it represents the speaker’s last chance to get his or her point across. Often a good public speaker will employ one or more of the following techniques in a conclusion: Summarize your main points for clarity and reinforcement. Use a quotation if it backs up your position and is a memorable and effective statement. Use an appeal for emotion or action. Refer back to your introduction. State your personal intentions in relation to your subject or purpose if you wish to have a forceful ending.

Finally, an effective speaker will know his or her audience and will specifically tailor the appeal to reach the members of this specific group. Be relaxed, establish good eye contact, and don’t speak too rapidly. A simple technique, like moving out in front of the podium at an appropriate point in the presentation, can be surprisingly effective in creating an intimate relationship with the audience.

Additional Hints

* Be Confident! As any good motivational speaker will tell you, body language sends a very important message to your audience as to your credibility. Walk up to the podium convinced that you have something important to say. Take a moment to focus; pull audience attention to you.Begin powerfully.

* Always remember that a speech is not an essay, although both have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Because a speech is oral, it cannot be as detailed and specific. Craft a spoken message that is crystal clear; review and repeat key points. Some of the greatest speeches of recent years have included highly memorable repeated phrases.

* Make sure that your volume is loud enough so that all audience members can hear you clearly. Also, vary your volume as you speak to create interest.

* Make sure that you do not speak too quickly. Initial nervousness may cause you to speak more quickly than you normally would. Be aware of this; slow down. Also, use variety in rate for dramatic effect.

* Always engage all of your audience members with good eye contact. Never concentrate on one part of your audience they will feel forgotten.

* Be articulate. Enunciate clearly! Check the pronunciation of words.

* Avoid manuscript delivery. If you write out a speech word for word you will become buried in your text and will become very nervous if you lose your place. Most highly effective speakers use the extemporaneous method of delivery, which is speaking from notes. You may want to write out your introduction and conclusion, but the body of your speech should be in outline or note form, in large enough print that you can read. Never use messy, disorganized papers; use notecards.

* Don’t forget the visual impact of gestures. You must practice your speech beforehand in order to get an idea of where gestures can seem natural and effective. A gesture should enhance a speech, not serve as a distraction.

* PRACTICE! PRACTICE BEFORE A MIRROR, A FRIEND, OR EVEN AN EMPTY ROOM. NOT ONLY WILL YOU BE ABLE TO SMOOTH OUT ANY ROUGH SPOTS, ESPECIALLY WITH A-V AIDS, YOU WILL ALSO BEBUILDING THAT NECESSARY SENSE OF CONFIDENCE! IN PUBLIC SPEAKING, PRACTICE TRULY DOES MAKE PERFECT!



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