Using your voice professionally doesn’t always mean singing, rapping or acting. It is also a big part of being a politician, leading an organisation, working in events, presenting in business or being a debating society member. Unfortunately, there’s more to it than opening your mouth and the words falling out; good public speaking takes meticulous preparation and being in the right frame of mind.
Make A Connection
The key to public speaking is to imagine it as a conversation between you and your audience. Your audience will get the most from your speech if you’re relaxed and relatable; they don’t want want something excessively polished and slick or panicky fast talking from you. The best way to achieve this is to make sure you feel relaxed when you’re speaking. Try to make eye contact with audience members throughout your speech as research shows that this helps to relate to you better and puts them at ease.
Of course, it’s important to rehearse your speech aloud, but it’s also good practice to visualise the experience; imagine the environment you’ll be in, who you’ll be speaking to and how you will come across. Visualisation is known for reducing anxiety.
Audiences warm to you when your speech feels personal. Wherever possible try to include an endearing personal anecdote to reinforce your point.
What’s in it for Me?
Don’t forget the purpose of your speech; what are you trying to get across to the audience? Their ears will prick up as soon as they hear how what you’re saying will help them achieve their goals or benefit them in some way.
Short and Sweet
Always leave your audience wanting more by speaking for less time than they anticipated. Even if you’ve followed these tips and you feel like the speech is going well don’t be tempted to milk your moment before and audience as concentration easily diminishes.
A few small mistakes during your speech can really get your audience behind you, but make a series of mistakes and they’ll feel embarrassed for you making for an awkward atmosphere. One of the easiest mistakes to make with public speaking is getting a dry throat leading to a spluttered and distracted performance. Sipping water not only keeps your voice in top condition, it also gives you pauses to collect your thoughts and for your audience to digest the speech.
Inhaling steam keeps your voice box moist, the ideal conditions for giving a speech. You could buy a personal steamer or simply run hot water in a sink and breathe in the steam.
We’re not going to miss the opportunity for a shameless plug! An all-natural product suitable for Vegans, Vocalzone is designed specifically to relieve irritations caused by excessive speaking. Unlike many other throat pastilles, lozenges and remedies Vocalzone doesn’t contain the numbing agent Benzocaine meaning it will not mask any underlying vocal damage.