In the series so far, I have discussed 5 important steps to become a confident speaker and step 1: how to get started on being one. Today, I am going to talk about how to prepare for speaking success every time you face an audience.
I am sure you have delivered so many speeches in your life and have prepared for a zillion of them! There are the usual things to work on – research your content, analyse your audience and practice your speech. Watch the video for details on these. In this post, I want to talk about general set of skills that can make you a better speaker. Do you remember my example from basketball in the first post of the series? That’s exactly what I mean.
Speaking involves a certain set of skills which, when improved to be good at, can ensure that you are able to speak in any situation – whether you prepared for that specific situation or not. Some of these skills include:
Decide your content
I don’t mean what your entire speech will be. I mean deciding what the focus of your speech will be. For instance, if you need to present a project report, are you going to talk about the progress so far or maybe make a strong case for why it is delayed. In impromptu situations, it will involve deciding on a stand – for instance, What do you think of the latest budget cuts – and quickly coming up with where you stand on the debate of budget cuts.
Put ideas together
Following the examples we mentioned above, this step will involve thinking of 2 points that’ll support your stand. For example, the main point and the crux of what you say could be – I don’t agree with the budget cuts and then you’ll quickly of think of which 2 reasons would most strongly validate your stand. If you are preparing for a presentation or talk in advance, try putting together a summary in this format. This will ensure that you know the flow of your material well.
Your success in impromptu situations will come from how quickly you can do the process in your head. Thing of what you want to say, think of 2 things to validate it, maybe examples to support it and tie it all together in the end.
Always practice “under contest conditions”
Make sure that you practice voice projection, gestures and moving around like you would in real life situations. You wouldn’t mumble in a room full of people listening to you or lie down and imagine what your gestures will be like. So do the actual thing during your practice. Learn to speak loudly and gesture freely during practice so that you can confidently do it during actual presentations too.
There are a lot of other decisions to be made during the prep phase. Should you write down your speech and memorise it or speak from a set of points? What should be the ideal structure of the speech? How does time available matter? Becoming a confident speaker takes time and effort to master all these things and how you can make them work together in the perfect possible manner. Practice makes a good talk into a TED worthy performance. Even TED speakers practice upto 200 times to make a talk brilliant.
If you want to do this step with me, I can help you:
– Learn how to write a speech
– how to organise your thoughts quickly and effectively
– Plan your presentation/talk in a way that will have maximum impact
– Learn how to transition between points
– Practice under “contest conditions” till you feel confident
– Watch and learn from the best speakers in history
If you wish to learn more about this step, drop me a line and I can schedule a free 20 minute discovery session to discuss your needs.
Th next post in the series is one of my favourite part of this whole thing – Using speaking tools to wow your audience. Until next time…