Public Speaking Doesn't Have To Be Hard. Read These 60 Tips!
Hope you are doing well.
Today, I am writing this article to share everything there is to share my secrets about public speaking that I have learnt from previous experiences like giving two TEDx talks viz. TEDx NorthCap University, TEDx BalajiITS, Representing India twice at the international arena in public speaking, Being a judge at various communication skills related activities, etc.
So, Before We start off, I would like to say that:
Public Speaking is an ART that comes from speaking from your HEART.
Why? Because it when it comes from your heart. It's real and authentic. It means that the emotions are true. And, Guys, When emotions are true, then, they touch others. Then, They become infectious. They get shared from one person to the other person.
That is when you are speaking with true emotions and with all your heart, then, those spoken words are infectious.
And, Talking about infectious, Why not let's see the pointers needed to make your public speaking great and infectious:
(Disclosure: At-least 60 pointers ahead. So get ready with your pen and paper. Or, Maybe, Your notepad!)
1.You have to share your story. Share your story to earn your Glory!
2. You have to make yourself vulnerable. Sharing stories wherein you have lost, have been weak may seem like a bad thought, but, Honestly, It shows that you are honest and real.
3.You have to crack jokes about yourself and not others. Also, Don't just brag about your achievements. Rather, Make your mother, father, your mentor or someone else the hero of your story.(This tip I learnt from Mrs. Patricia Fripp.)
4.When you are speaking, You have to try to look at every part of the audience section and not just some of them. Don't let anyone feel that they are being neglected.
5.You have to make use of body gestures properly. Remember: Communication is 55% body Language, 38% Tone Variation and 7% Words.
6.You have to make use of tone variations. Like -Long is pronounced Longgggggg (stretch or shorten according to the meaning of the word). So, Words like 'LONG' needs to be stretched and should be taken longer time to utter completely.
7. Talk with the audience in a conversational tone. Not like 'one to many' communication, but, like a 'one to one' communication.
8. Don't just watch and say everything written on your slides . Rather, Take them as a reference point and always speak and utter sentences which are not exactly the same as those on the slides of your Power Point Presentation (Or Keynote slides).
9. Make the session interacting by 'WOWing' your audience with statistics and numbers.Like, When talking about Linkedin, I share with my audience that Linkedin was brought by Mircosoft for a staggering 26.2 Billion Dollars or approximately 1,75,000 Crore INR. This catches the attention of the viewers.
10. Make fun of yourself before you think of cracking jokes about someone else. Ever wondered why comedians make fun of themselves a lot of times? It is because it allows them to crack jokes on others too.
11. Make people happy by sharing something which I don't know. That is sharing something that people already know may bore them. So, Make sure you share something interesting,
12. Prepare your talk rigourously. My recent Tedx was practiced over 6-8 times completely before I went on stage.
13. Always have a backup. Contradicting my first point. Sometimes, Unexpected things happen. So, Be prepared by having a detailed PPT ready. But, Only use it in case of an emergency or uncalled situation. Like, Just in case you forget some points that you have to share then if you you got it on your slide, then there won't be any worries.
14. Always be kind and generous. Remember : People may respect your name and your actions. But, It's not about YOU. It's about the stage. You are a SPEAKER that's why people want to take a selfie with you, take your autograph and do more stuff . But, That's because you are the SPEAKER. So, Always be generous and down to earth. Don't think you are above others because people may forget who you are, what you said,but, they will never ever forget how you made them feel!
15.Don't say anything, start looking around for the first 8 to 10 seconds:
16.Start With a Rhyme like in my first TEDx talk, I started:
Life is a game,
And, The game is all about the name,
And, If you want to make a name, then, You gotta take the blame,
But, Once, You take the blame, Then, There will be shame,
So, Take that shame and ignite your flame,
And, Take that flame and go make a name.
Because, You see life is a game,
And, The game is all about the name...
17. Start using the phrase - 'I want you to imagine'. This trick I learnt from my friend: Vishnu Hurukat.
18. As soon as you enter the conference Hall, Be professional.
19. Always start with a Bang! (Remember,People are most likely to make a firm impression about you in the first 8 seconds)
20. Start with a story. (Our brain is hardwired to hear stories, the reason being that we have grown from our childhood by stories, like-Once upon a time…)
21. Begin the presentation and gradually Build it up.(Though an Energy Shift may be very useful.An Energy shift is providing something which no one expected,It would give your presentation's impression as Remarkable)
22. Be Remarkable! (Remarkability is when you do something which no one expects you to do. Like For eg: Remember a video going viral where a sketch artist has 60 seconds to draw a sketch, After the time ends, The drawing looks absolutely nothing, but, as soon as he inverts the sheet, To everyone's surprise, It becomes an amazing sketch of a person.
At the end of the day, It was just a sketch, but, the way he did it made it remarkable)
23. Make people feel special. (If someone in the crowd is bothering you and disturbing you, Don’t insult him, Rather, While you are speaking,Just give him a compliment,Like,The revenue model of our company is as good as Mr.X’s T-shirt.
24. Normally,Use Black colours as the background for your PowerPoint slides.
25. Use Figures of Speech in your talks.(Like Simile,For eg:You can say We both do wanders together,So let's join hands. Or you can say: If i am the bow and you become the arrow, Together, We will hit the Bull's Eye. Here, Figures of speech used are Simile and Transferred Epithet(Something This+Something That =Something Great)
26. Remember,You are human, so, you can commit mistakes.(For eg:If you don't know the answer to a question asked,Kindly say:That is an interesting question that didn't occur to me,I would make sure that I research on it and would get back to you on this and give a nice smile which indicates you the unanswered question didn't lessen your confidence and go ahead say:Any more questions?)
27. Use the principle 'Similar but Different’. Like, For eg:Use the same font in all the slides, Have the same sort of boundaries (If any), But, Be different by using beautiful pictures, Sometimes use graphs, Let one slide only have text, Let one or two slides include Cartoons(Representative of something).
28. The text on your slides should not be like Long answer question,Rather,Sort of Fill In the Blanks,In which what you say would be filling the blanks.
29. Never read out your slides of your presentation. #SayDontRead
30. Never ask a yes or no question without preparing a response for both the responses. #BeReady
31. Never expect anyone and everyone to pay attention to you when you speak .There will be always someone to make life difficult. #CantPleaseEveryone
32. Never respond to a rude person in the audience with a rude response. #BeClassy
33. Never remember your speech as few distinct points but let it be like a line connecting the dots where each dot serves a purpose. #ConnectingDots
34. Never use words such as I, Me and myself frequently, instead, Let there be words like you and we. #BeSelfless
35. Never share a well known fact in a conventional way. Use your imagination and make it sound relatable and different. #BeDifferent
36. Never make fun of someone else without making fun or yourself. #RuleOfComedy
37. Never start your presentation or speech with a usual fact or story. Start with something exceptional, unusual and exciting like a story. #StoryTell
38. Never apologise if you forgot something. Just use your sense of humour and make fun of yourself by saying - Maybe, I should start taking memory pills from next time. #AcceptYourMistakes
39. Also, Let's learn a few Public Speaking lessons from Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next few pointers. Like, PM Modi turns negative points into positive points. Like, He shares that when someone called him a 'dog', He was happy because he was called as 'loyal'. Here a few more public speaking pointers that we can learn from PM Narendra Modi:(Starred pointers)
*40. He starts with the language of the people he is addressing to. That makes an instant connection between the crowd and him.
*41. He keeps moving his body laterally (sideways), so, that he can cover and get eye contact with all the people in the audience no matter where they are sitting.
*42. He uses his voice tone variation to signify the feeling of his words. ( Point to Remember: Voice tone variation accounts for 38% of communication and words only account for 7%. The rest 55% is body language)
*43. He never makes the speech about himself. He makes the audience as the winners. Ex: When Sir says- Yeh jeet Modi ki jeet nahi hai, Yeh jeet 130 (Sava So) crore desh wasiyon ki jeet hai.
*44. And, Because he really means it and feels that way, His emotions become contagious and people hearing his speech are left mesmerized, inspired and motivated.
*45. He engages the crowd by asking questions.
*46. He uses his hand gestures beautifully to convey his point. Like locking and intermingling of fingers when he is talking about a partnership program.
*47. He uses personal stories to connect with the audience. Stories are magic!
48. If you are presenting after an already awesome presentation given by an awestrucking presenter. Don't become anxious. Let the juices flow by starting off by complimenting the previous speaker on his/her presentation skills. #ShowGratitude
49. Science says people would make a strong impression of you in the first 8 seconds. So, don't enter the stage without a beautiful smile and grace. #1stImpressionsMatter
50. People would be most attentive at the start of your presentation, So, Share a story which makes them wanting for more. Don't disclose everything at the start. Let there be some suspense. #KeepThemHooked
51. Never look at just one part of the audience and let others feel that they are being unattended. Look around and try to make eye contact with as many as possible. #EyeContactMatters
52. As humans,We are always attracted to things in motion. So, Don't move around the stage unless it goes with the flow. #MoveCarefully
53. As a speaker and as an human being, You can make mistakes. No problem. Accept it and even crack a joke about it. People would love your sense of humor. #MistakesCanHappen
54. Make fun of yourself before you think of making fun of others.
55. Mean the words you speak. Like : It's not long. It has to be Longggg. It's not shorttttt. It's short.
56. Prepare your talk rigourously. My recent Tedx was practiced over 6-8 times completely before I went on stage.
57. Always have a backup. Contradicting my first point. Sometimes, Unexpected things happen. So, Be prepared by having a detailed PPT ready. But, Only use it in case of an emergency or uncalled situation.
58. Always be kind and generous. Remember : People may respect your name and your actions. But, It's not about YOU. It's about the stage. You are a SPEAKER that's why people want to take a selfie with you, take your autograph and do more stuff . But, That's because you are the SPEAKER. So, Always be generous and down to earth. Don't think you are above others because people may forget who you are, what you said, but, they will never ever forget how you made them feel!
59. Speak with your heart because Public Speaking is an Art and that Art comes from speaking from Heart.
60. Speak with a smile and be calm & comfortable. Because if you don't seem comfortable while speaking then those feelings may go across to the audience too.
Here are three more bonus points:
61. Speak at a decent pace. Not too fast and not too slow.
62. Manage your time properly. If you are allotted 20 minutes, then, Don't go beyond that or don't end up too early before 20 minutes.
63. Share a new perspective about things. That is go and share a positive attitude with the audience. Like, I always share with my students that 'Life is not about winning and losing, but, Life is about winning and learning'.