7 Public Speaking Techniques to Help You Attend Events Like a Pro
I doubt there is anyone out there not dreading the idea of public speaking – let’s make most of it from the experience
The life of an entrepreneur or a specialist in some field often goes along with events, participating in meetings and seminars. More often than not, one might have the chance to attend a public speaking event – it would be a pity wasting an opportunity like this only out of pure nervousness and dread.
Some time ago I was invited to speak at a seminar in SoftUni (we talked WordPress all the way!) and, as I was practicing my participation and lecture, I came to thinking about stage fright. Surely many successful entrepreneurs out there have experienced this uneasy feeling – a room full of people, all waiting for you to tell them something valuable and interesting. The pressure can be so overwhelming that it can destroy the smooth sailing of even the best professionals out there.
I figured this event and my preparation for it can serve as a great content idea. Why not spend a minute talking about public speaking? Let’s address both some useful techniques and common difficulties that participants meet.
The art of public speaking – a great way to share and gather knowledge and experience
Rhetorics and public speaking have been around human civilization for centuries.
The chance of sharing knowledge, and thoughts and the opportunity to engage in discussions and debates is quite enriching.
We all are hungry for knowledge of any sort, but guess what? It’s far easier for people to educate themselves on various topics when the information is presented by a specialist. Attending a seminar or a lecture has proven to be far more beneficial for listeners instead of burying your nose in textbooks. Why you may wonder? We simply admire and honor human interaction – we listen, we trust the specialists, we get curious, we get intrigued by the way something is being presented to us. In a nutshell, that’s essentially the power of public speaking and rhetorics – one can go to the source, one can gather valuable information from an expert.
The art of public speaking and rhetorics is a real gem for anyone who wants to persuade, educate, learn, and develop.
Of course, all those things can be easily overruled if the speaker lacks public speaking skills. I’ve always thought it’s a shame for experts to fail in participating in seminars just because they are not familiar with rhetorical techniques and skills.
What could potentially ruin your speaking event?
I’m sure you are all familiar with that scene from the “8 Mile” movie when Eminem had to hit the stage for the first time and threw up in the toilet out of nervousness. You know, the “mom’s spaghetti” thing.
Nervousness and stage fright are among the most common obstacles and difficulties that public speakers have to deal with. If panic hits, even the most well-educated and experienced professionals may fail to go along with their seminar or lecture.
Another issue that can arise has to do with the ability to connect with the audience. Imagine having well-built and educational information prepared. It’s important to think of a way to present it in an engaging and thought-provoking manner. No speaker would want to hear snoring during their lecture, am I right?
The inability to rule one’s emotions can also trigger a public speaking catastrophe. There are times when we might feel overwhelmed, experience difficulty concentrating, not feel physically okay, etc. It’s important to always be in charge of your feelings acknowledgment.
A crucial obstacle to a smooth rhetorics session is underestimating the subject. Regardless of how well-prepared you might feel, always make sure to go in-depth in the topic in question and take your time preparing a spectacular speech.
After referring to some of the most common obstacles and difficulties in public speaking events, I suggest we take a step further and offer some useful guidelines and techniques that could easily turn into a life-saver.
7 public speaking techniques, methods, and ideas that will keep you afloat
- accept public speaking invitations only about subjects you feel confident in
- spend some time preparing well for the event
- get to know your audience in advance
- practice in advance to beat nervousness and stage fright
- get familiar with the surroundings
- express confidence in what you are talking about
- be on time
Accept public speaking invitations only about subjects you feel confident in
Sure, invitations of this sort may be tempting at first, but aware of which ones you accept executing. Audiences of all kinds can easily tell who knows what they are talking about. Don’t risk it attending an event where you have to address subjects and topics you are not an expert in. Usually, people will ask questions, engage in discussions with the lecturers – you must be confident enough that you’ll be able to meet all their standards and expectations.
Spend some time preparing well for the event
Let’s head to the other end of the spectrum. By accepting to participate in an event’s subject you know plenty about, there is a chance you’ll slip right into the damnation of underestimation. Regardless of how well-prepared you feel in a field, always take your time studying the subject to its core and practice in offering some great insights and knowledge. Your audience deserves someone who takes their public speaking event quite seriously.
Get to know your audience in advance
Let’s say you can overview a list of the attendancies. Getting to know your audience is surely a great approach to a successful public speaking event because you’ll know what issues and questions to address in your lecture. Imagine newbies enrolling in your gardening seminar and all of a sudden you begin talking about growing your own bonsai or vice versa. By all means, getting enough details on your audience is a great way to ensure a time well-spent for both parties.
Practice in advance to beat nervousness and stage fright
We’ve already mentioned how wrecking nervousness and stage fright can be – those unsettling feelings can destroy your event. My advice is to not let this happen. I know how overwhelming everything can be! You can try practicing in advance your speech minute by minute – this way you’ll train your brain into entering presentation mode. Some techniques teach you to block the existence of your surroundings for some time – during your presentation, this could be useful to keep your spirits high. Talk in front of the mirror to check your body posture and language; talk in front of friends to get used to people watching you and listening to you.
Get familiar with the surroundings
Everything will go much easier if you have the chance to practice on the spot. Go to the event hall by yourself and get familiar with your surroundings. Check how big the room is, how’s the acoustics? Will you have the chance to use media such as laptops, screens, and monitors? Try them out in advance so you know how they work. Practice how loud your voice must be. Will you be using a microphone? Will there be a Q&A session at the end? Don’t risk coming up with unpleasant surprises on the day of the event, investigate everything before the big day.
Express confidence in what you are talking about
Expressing confidence sometimes has nothing to do with your knowledge of the subject. Sometimes stage fright can take its toll. My advice is to try to look and sound as confident as possible. See, people in the audience are quite sensitive when it comes to the speaker’s stage presence. If you stutter, sweat, make long pauses or skip whole important sections of your presentation, then there is a high chance you may fail at living up to people’s expectations.
Be on time
Okay, I know this last piece of advice may sound silly, but hear me out. Sometimes we get so caught up in preparation and excitement, that we fail to schedule our time properly. So, on the day of the event, make sure to go there earlier than you’re supposed to show up. This way you’ll have plenty of time to prepare yourself for hitting the stage. Showing up late is a big no-no – you’ll make your audience impatient and irritated and surely that’s a recipe for a fall start.
The bottom line
I sincerely hope my take on public speaking will be of use to all of you who have frequent invitations but deny them due to nervousness and lack of self-confidence. You most definitely can nail every public speaking event – just put these 7 guidelines and techniques in your toolbox. You’re good to go!