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Public Speaking – The Do’s and Don’ts

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Whether you are a teacher, an entrepreneur, a politician, or a marketing guru, public speaking is something you simply cannot ignore. You may come across different situations where you have to deliver your thoughts to a houseful of a live audience. How efficient and eloquent you are as a speaker may decide the next big stride in your career. Here are a few do’s and don’ts you should thoroughly follow during your next big presentation speech that would help you get recognized as an effective public speaker.

Know your audience

Knowing your audience will help you prepare yourself more effectively. This is a preliminary step which builds the foundation for entire speech. You must be aware of the knowledge and expectation of your audience while preparing your speech. Since the sole purpose of delivering your speech is to inform and convince your audience, you must give utmost importance to this aspect. Being unaware of what the audience expects may jeopardize your entire effort. You may end up delivering a speech which your audience cannot relate with or may not find relevance.

Planning your speech

Once you are aware of your audience expectations, start preparing a draft of the things you are going to cover in your speech. Revise your draft to check whether you have missed out an important point. Organize your draft to emphasize what you think more important and prioritize accordingly. This is the phase where you can control the duration and content of your speech by making necessary and appropriate edits.

Tell stories

Your storytelling ability goes a long way in determining how good an orator you are. People love and remember stories. Use them frequently to describe and illustrate points. Stories serve as excellent use cases. Audience correlates with stories very well.

Start and finish on time

Value the importance of time. Your audience’s time is as important as yours. Try to adhere to the timeline given to you for delivering your speech. Do not drag your speech unnecessarily as this is likely to disinterest the audience, as well as the credibility of your speech. Some people may find this disrespectful and may also get annoyed by this behavior.

Be yourself

People admire honesty, sincerity, and authenticity. Don’t try to imitate others. Be your original self and people will relate to you better. Be honest, expressive and what you truly are. This will help connect your audience better and they will feel more involved.

Don’t read your slides

Your presentation slides should support what you speak. Don’t read aloud slides to your audience. They will lose interest in your presentation. This may also convey an impression that you have limited knowledge on your subject and they are likely to question your credibility.

Avoid overuse of animations

Don’t overuse animations in your slides. Focus more on the content and less on the style. Remember, the matter is always more important than the form. Keep a minimalist approach. Professional looking slides should always have simple effects and transitions.

Don’t try to impress with jargon

Usage of technical jargon unnecessarily and inappropriately is likely to disengage audience. Don’t be under the impression that heavy use of jargon will impress your audience. On the contrary, this will make things difficult for your audience to comprehend, making them feel left out. Always use simple words and sentences. This will make even complex subjects comprehensive and accessible to your audience.

Don’t hurry

Never rush with your words. Always relax and go slow. People in the audience are most likely to miss out and feel lost. This also portrays a lack of confidence in the speaker’s ability to deliver efficiently. You are also likely to miss out certain points you wished to cover as a result of this. Remember, slow and steady always wins the race.

Don’t use too many fonts

Using too many fonts in your presentation slide will make it look like a child’s drawing canvas. Restrict usage of a maximum of two fonts per slide. Use colors in contrast with the background. Stick to a minimal and clean template as far as possible. This will make things look neat and professional. The information displayed will hence be easier to read and understand.

End your speech with power and impact

The way you conclude your presentation matters the most. The last spoken words are the most important ones. They are the ones which are also remembered for very long. End your speech with a sense of authority and power. The audience always waits for a strong climax. It should have a positive impact with a ray of hope and enthusiasm. This will make them seek for more and have you in high regard. Summarize the whole content in brief before your closing lines. Never forget to thank your audience for their time and patience throughout the delivery of your presentation.

Apply the above mentioned do’s and don’ts list on your subsequent presentations. This will surely help you in your pursuit to become an effective public speaker.