What makes Public Speaking Important?

Reading and listening to public speech performance is one thing. However, having to go to the stage and stand in front of a big crowd and speak is something entirely different.  For many professionals, there is always a time when they need to leave the comfort of their seat in the auditorium and step onto a stage with nothing but a spotlight. Even though this experience may sound intimidating, it can be both fun and an amazing opportunity to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. There are several reasons why public speaking could be important to you:

  • Public speaking is an excellent opportunity to increase your visibility. Regardless of whether you work as an IT professional or a hair-dresser, public speaking is a time when people hear you and learn something new from you. If you deliver a powerful speech and share some inspiring messages, you can be sure that people will talk about you long after you step off the stage.
  • Public speaking is an excellent opportunity to practice public appearance skills. Speaking in front of hundreds of people can be very demanding both mentally and physically. To excel as a public speaker, therefore, you need to invest much effort and work very hard to make your speech sound inspiring.
  • Public speaking is an amazing opportunity to connect with people from your professional field. Public speeches usually take place during meetings, conferences, or other events attended by many professionals in your area. You can surely expect some annoying questions and pop-ups, but usually holding a public speech is an excellent opportunity to network and make contacts.
  • Public speaking will get your blood pumping hard. Standing all alone in front of all these people is scary and nerve-racking. You may even think you will have a heart-attack, but stay calm. You will make it! And yes, you will become a stronger person.

Public Speaking: Tips and Tricks

Choosing an interesting topic may be one of the most difficult things when it comes to creating a public speech. You should always start with a list of at least ten potential topics. Next, go online and check the academic journals. Which of these topics created the most interest during the last three years? How many search results did you get for each of these topics? It is always a good idea to select a topic that created the most interest in the last few months. You can always use the answers to the previous two questions to guide your decision.

Keep your key message simple. You should always make sure that you can summarize your whole speech in one simple and well-focused sentence. The whole speech should aim at supporting the idea of this one sentence. Also, make sure you do not provide too many details as your key message might get lost.  

Limit the number of slides. You may want to limit them to fewer than thirty so that you do not have to rush going through all of them. Instead, it is always a good idea to put only a few key words on each slide so that you can give people enough time to process what you are saying. Of course, placing a funny picture here and there will make your audience smile thus helping them focus on the key words in each slide.

Keep your presentation template colorful. Having a monochromatic presentation may look elegant but it will probably fail to catch attention of the audience. You should choose bright colors that will illuminate and lift up the spirit in the room.  

Practice makes perfect. You need to know that you cannot deliver a perfect speech unless you practice a lot. First, you need to read your speech many times over and get to know all of the details. Next, you need to develop an outline that you can use as a reminder during your practice. After that, it is all about the number of repetitions. As soon as you learn all details of the speech, you can stand in front of the mirror and practice body gestures that will help you deliver you speech better. The more you practice, the more confidence you will gain and the better the speech you will deliver.

Reference

Clayton, D. (2012). Taming and Training Your Public Speaking Monkeys. Hertford: MY Books ltd.

El Mortaji, L. (2018). Effects of Sustained Impromptu Speaking and Goal Setting on Public Speaking Competency Development: A Case Study of EFL College Students in Morocco. English Language Teaching, 11(2), 82-98.

Lyons, F. A. (2017). A Global Integration: Internationalizing a Public Speaking Course. International Research And Review, 6(2), 85-102.

Phillips, L. (2016). Dictionary of Debate and Public Speaking. New York, NY: Internationa Debate Education Association.

 

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