In addition to being a successful public speaker, Ebs Akintade is also an experienced music and entertainment presenter who boasts more than a decade’s worth of experience working in voiceover, presenting and corporate work. This article will look at what it takes to become a successful public speaker, identifying tips to improve technique and sharing potential pitfalls to avoid.
Being invited to speak at an event is both flattering and terrifying for many. Even seasoned SEOs can find public speaking daunting at times. However, the good news is that anyone can master the art of delivering a compelling speech with careful preparation and practice.
As with many things in life, the key to a great speech is laying the groundwork. For those who are new to public speaking, it is good practice to write up the entire speech, rehearsing it again and again. However, it is also important to be prepared to adlib. In real life situations, interruptions often arise that could potentially throw a speaker off course, causing them to forget what they wrote.
Use Notes and Audio-Visual Aids
Admittedly, experienced public speakers tend to deliver presentations without relying on notes. However, for inexperienced speakers, having a back-up can be hugely reassuring – even if it is just a simple list of bullet points to help keep their speech on track.
In terms of audio-visual aids, it is important to keep them simple to avoid distracting the audience. Pictures and videos can be used to break up a speech. In particular, a high-impact video at the start of a presentation can help pique the viewer’s attention.
Smile and Engage With the Audience
In the heat of the moment it can be easy to forget to smile, but above all else, audiences want to see a welcoming face. When a speaker smiles and makes eye-contact people will usually smile back, giving them a valuable boost of confidence.
Engaging with the audience makes public speeches more interesting. Simply asking a question can pep up any talk. Encouraging audience members to ask questions, or share their point of view, is a great way of increasing engagement and making a speech more memorable.
Pitfalls to avoid when speaking publicly include using words like ‘um’. Videoing speech rehearsals can be a great way of identifying and avoiding repetitive use of filler words.
Pacing, fidgeting, and talking too quickly all impair a speaker’s ability to get their message across. It is important to communicate clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon and using words that everyone can understand.