Welcome back to the series on 5 steps to become a confident speaker. Speaking skills are important to get ahead in our personal and professional lives. The ability to articulate your ideas can set you apart in your career. In the series so far, I have discussed
You’ve written down you speech, you have practiced it many times and now it’s time to face the audience. Step 4 – deliver with impact! Delivering a speech well is the touchstone of everything that went behind in the green room. The content, the audience, the equipment you use, the nerves you feel – everything comes together in this phase. Whether you have prepared for the speech/presentation or are going to speak impromptu, there are a few things that will come in handy to make an impressive speech.
Make a quick summary
During your preparation phase, make sure you write down a quick summary of your points. Just the main bullet points. You can then follow this while delivering. This will free your mind from remembering each line of your talk. Are you talking impromptu? Practice a set of skills coming up in the next post.
Deal with nerves
I think the biggest thing to deal with before facing people is the nervousness of so many eyes staring at you! My suggestion: stop trying to curb your nervousness. Instead try to channel that into positive passion and enthusiasm to face the audience.
Start with confidence
Well begun is half done! The best time to grab the attention of the audience is at the beginning of a talk or presentation. Use appropriate speaking tools to ensure everyone sits up to take notice. You could start with a questions, throw staggering statistics around or tell a story, maybe. This will also boost your confidence for the rest of the talk.
Here is a quick video on how to start your presentation with a bang
Learn to customise
The power might go off. You might lose your slide deck. The group that turned out might be too small. You might be asked to throw more light on a particular aspect of a project. There can be so many unforeseen factors that affect your delivery. Keep such surprises in mind and ensure you can customise on the spot.
The amount of practice you put in and the experience you have speaking in front of people also have a huge bearing on your delivery skills. But, like practice hours for any other skill – cooking or driving – one has to get in front of people as much as possible to be a confident speaker. So grab every opportunity and hone your skills.
If you want a coach to work exclusively with you to improve your delivery, I can:
– work on your delivery style to make it more powerful
– help you perfect your vocal variety, rate of speech and intonation
– help develop positive body language like eye contact, gestures and movement
– work on better impromptu presentations
– make you more confident in facing people
If you have been following this series, you will know that Soft Skills Studio has come up with India’s first personalised and customised speaking skills program – 5 important steps to become a confident speaker. It is unique and personal because you can:
– Select all or just the steps you need to improve on from the program
– Choose between personal and virtual methods of delivery
– Train with a dedicated coach working exclusively with you
– Intensive and focussed only on areas you want to improve
– Extended practice till you feel confident about
– Activities, handouts, templates and check lists to apply your learning and using them for actual speaking situations
The focus in on you! You can get ahead by working on areas of improvement and convert them to strengths. It doesn’t matter which specific step you need to work on, I’ve got the best content and tips to make it work for you! If you wish to take your speaking skills to the next level, drop me a line and I can schedule a free 20 minute discovery session to discuss your needs.
In the next and the last post of the series, we will look at tips on how to deal with different kinds of speaking situations.