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The Eight Secrets of Successful Public Speaking

LET'S TALK about speaking in public. There are many times when a business person needs to speak in front of other people.

The ability to deliver an effective talk is one of the most valuable skills you can possess. If you want to be a leader in school, public speaking is often essential.

As a class officer, head of the student council, or president of a club, you are often called on to stand up and speak to a group. Public speaking is also important in the workplace.

The Eight Secrets of Successful Public Speaking:

  1. Define the purpose of your presentation before doing anything else.
  2. Spend plenty of time preparing your talk so it will be effective.
  3. Hook the attention of your listeners early in a speech so they will listen to the rest of it.
  4. Tell the audience why you're speaking to them at the beginning, the middle, and the end of your talk.
  5. Overcome stage fright by making it work for you.
  6. Use stories and anecdotes to bring your talk to life.
  7. Evaluate each talk you give so you can constantly improve your skills.
  8. Never stop practicing.

One of the best ways of organizing any presentation is also the simplest. It's called the 3 Ts, which are as follows:

  1. Tell the audience what you're going to say at the beginning of the talk.
  2. Tell the audience what you're going to say to them in the body of the talk.
  3. Tell the audience what you told them in the conclusion.

If you decide to incorporate humor into a speech, be sure to do the following:

  • Know your audience. A joke that may seem funny to people in your age group may not seem as humorous to people who are your parents' age or may even fall flat with people who are your grandparents' age.
  • Be conservative when using humor. Avoid the outlandish and sarcastic; try to find humor that appeals to every demographic group in your audience.
  • Use humor only if you're used to doing so. If you are a naturally humorous person in your daily life, than it might be okay to try a little humor in a speech. If you are a more fact-based, serious person, it is better to stay in your comfort zone and avoid using humor in your presentations.
  • Make it relevant. Any humor you use should relate directly to the topic of your speech.
  • Rehearse. Practice and memorize your humorous story or joke in order to be fully engaged with the audience and appear spontaneous (even if you spent hours the night before practicing your speech).

Open with a Joke is good or a risk?

Humor may be a high risk because sometimes the speaker wasn't a good storyteller. Or, the speaker's idea of what was funny wasn't the same as her audience's.

The Benefits of Humor:

Although it is risky, humor is an effective tool if you can perfect it. Humor does many things. It:

  • relaxes the audience.
  • makes your speech more enjoyable.
  • negates any hostility that may be present.
  • overcomes introductions that may be overly flattering.
  • lets the audience know that you don't take yourself too seriously.
  • lightens up a dry subject.

For help with public speaking, speech writing and more, call John 1800 990 832

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