4 Tips for Public Speaking
Many people may not realise it, but speaking in front of an audience of 15-20 people, like when you do formal project feedback, is as close to public speaking as you can get. This is not a skill that comes naturally to many people, even experienced Project Managers. According to that great journal (The Readers Digest!), speaking in front of a group of people is still the number one fear in the world today!
The following four suggestions may help you deal with that fear. These will assist you when speaking to 2 or 20 or 200!
- Preparation compensates for a lack of talent! Prepare the talk (feedback) in advance. Organize your visuals, handouts, and material. Practice and rehearse not only the content but also the delivery. Analyze the audience by asking yourself these questions: In what are the attendees interested? What is important to them? How do they want to feel or think at the end of my presentation?
- Your “first burst” is important! You should practice, rehearse, memorize, and/or choreograph your “first burst.” This is your opening sentence or paragraph. The purpose of the “first burst” is to grab the attention AND the interest of your audience. Using hilarious humor, quotable quotes, startling statistics, topical stories, and/or a focusing question can accomplish this. Use your imagination when creating your “first burst.”
- Your audience is more forgiving than you are! Loosen up, lighten up, have fun when making a presentation. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The audience is not expecting perfection and neither should you! Remember: angels fly because they take themselves lightly.
- Stick to the goal of the speech (feedback). Ensure that you deliver the main message that you set out to give, nothing more, nothing less.
This post is written with input from an article of Bryan Flanagan about: “How do I give an effective speech”