Public Speaking

It’s time. In a few moments you are expected to stand up, walk to the front of the room, and deliver your talk or presentation to the waiting audience….

Poorly delivered messages can be the presenter’s undoing. So often it’s not the content, it’s the way it is delivered.

How confident are you feeling in your skills to make that initial contact with the audience? To attract and hold their attention? To effectively deliver your message?

Building confidence in your initial ‘handshake’ with the audience, confidence in your engagement with the room, and varying your voice tones to help your audience hear the message that you want to deliver can help to make your presentation more effective, more memorable.

6 effective techniques for presenting and public speaking; how confident are you?

1) Breathing
Give yourself time to breath. When you walk up to the front of the room, stop, smile, and make sure you have taken a good breath or two before speaking. You may be worried that a vast chasm of silence has opened up that you have got to, you simply must fill with words but that is not the case.

Your audience won’t be feeling the same as you do; they will simply have clocked that you are there, ready to speak – and establishing your authority.

2) Stance
Make sure you are ‘rooted’ into the floor. Find an image that works for you; something that help you stand firm and stand tall. A secure posture conveys an immediate image of confidence, before you have said a single word.

3) Remember to look at your audience!
If you were at a social gathering, telling an interesting story, you would automatically have eye contact with as many people in the room as possible; it helps to do the same when we are speaking. Remember; your audience wants you to engage with them.

4) And smile….
Back to you social gathering. What draws you into a group of people and a conversation? A warm, inviting smile from whoever is talking really helps, and similarly helps the speaker at the front of the room to build on that audience engagement. It also helps your voice sound warmer.

5) Silence
Use silence as a friend, not an enemy. It is easy to believe that every second must be filled with sound, otherwise a yawning chasm will open up and your audience will wander off to make a cup of tea in the interval you have just created… But that’s not the case. You may be on fire with adrenaline, but your audience is likely to be in relaxed mode.

Use moments of silence to let the audience catch up with you, to realise are moving to a fresh topic. Take that time to check your notes (or find your place again!), take a good breath, and smile because you confidently intended to pause….

6) Movement
Consider signposting a new section of your talk with movement.

When you have finished a section of your talk, try moving a few paces to a new position. This helps the audience to realise that you are changing tack, and also gives them a break; time to process your pearls of wisdom. It also gives those whose thoughts have begun to drift a chance to climb back on board…..

Ges Ray works within businesses, delivering practical workshops to teams as well as 1-2-1 Executive coaching to a range of Corporate and SME clients, providing a toolkit for business delivering the confidence to stand up and address clients & meetings, confidence to present & speak in public, confidence to win business.

To find out more call us on 020 3195 7988 or fill out our quick contact form.

Written by Ges Ray of Speaking in Public.