What Is Public Speaking?
Public speaking is the process of communicating information to an audience. Public speaking can be considered a form of interpersonal communication, as they use spoken words and gestures to convey what they want to say.
It is also sometimes referred to as rhetoric because it involves using written or spoken words in order to persuade, inform and motivate people.
Purposes of Public Speaking
Public speaking can be used for many purposes:
- Teaching others about new ideas;
- Persuading them about ideas that are different from their own;
- Offering updates on organizations activities (e.g. giving presentations);
- Presenting awards at conferences, etc.
Importance of Public Speaking
Public speaking is one of the most important skills you can learn. It will help you in your career, and it’s a skill that you can learn.
The importance of public speaking is evident when we think about how many people are now using this method to communicate with others: business professionals, salespeople, and even government officials!
Here are some reasons why public speaking is so important:
- You will learn how to communicate clearly and effectively with others by using words and phrases which convey meaning clearly without ambiguity or confusion (or jargon).
- You’ll also be able to project confidence through body language while maintaining eye contact with those around you.
How to Learn Public Speaking Skills?
Yes, you can become a public speaker even if you are at zero. You just need to read this guide carefully and start applying these in real life.
To understand public speaking better & in a wider way, I have divided it into two parts that are as:
- Off-Stage Preparation (Before going to the stage)
- On-Stage Preparation (While giving the speech)
1. Off-Stage Preparation
Off-stage preparation is the process of preparing for a speech or presentation off-stage. This will help you to develop confidence in what you will deliver and how you will behave in front of everyone.
Follow these points before going to the stage:
a) Know Your Audience First
The first step to preparing for a speech is to know your audience.
- Know the interests of your audience: What are they interested in, and why? Do they have any particular problems that you can address with this speech?
- Know their needs: Are there things that need changing in the world, or situations where people feel helpless or powerless so that this might be an appropriate topic for your presentation?
- Understand their background: What do these people do for work or study (and where)? Who are their friends and family members, who may influence them, and how do they think?
A connection between you and others is vital. And this will help you to do so.
b) Keep a Central Theme
The central theme of your speech is the main idea or message you want to communicate.
The audience should be able to understand this central theme after listening to your speech because it will help them remember what they learned from it.
You should make sure that everything in your introduction, body, and conclusion supports this main idea so that listeners can easily remember what they learned when they leave.
c) 90 Minutes Preparation Rule
Here is a Golden Rule for you:
30 Minutes for Comfort
30 Minutes for Confidence
30 Minutes for Perfection
The more you practice, the better you will get.
However, if you want to improve your confidence and ease in speaking up in front of other people, then one hour is a good starting point for most people.
d) Give Unusual Useful Information
Learn to speak in a language that is not your mother tongue. You will find it easier to explain your point if you can use the language of the audience. Do not need to translate everything that comes out of your mouth.
Give information that is unusual (that audience is not expecting) but that is related to your theme. It will drag the attention of all.
e) Use Trending Content in Speech
Check what’s trending on social media like Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube. Try to connect your speech with that. It will make your content more humors and people will remember it for a long time.
f) Enjoy Your Content
If you are giving a speech that you don’t like, nobody is going to like it. You have to love your content first. Get involved in your content.
If you are enjoying your speech, the audience will also.
So, these are off-stage preparation points. Now, move to what will we do on the stage.
2. On-Stage Preparation
As a speaker, your job is to keep the audience engaged and interested. In this section, we will understand what should you do on stage.
a) Starting of Speech and Closing
Well, if you start your speech with low energy or not in an impressive way, no one is going to listen to you no matter how good your content is.
So the beginning of a speech is very important. You have seen most effective public speakers start with a quote, a story, a golden statement, or some cheerful surprise.
You have to do the same.
For an effective starting of a speech start with-
- A Quote
- A Golden Statement
- A Facts
- A Cheerful Surprise
- A Story
- A “Imagine” Scenario
- A Question
b) Speak Visually With Storytelling
A story is a way of making your point memorable, relevant, and relatable. If you tell a story with emotion and energy, it will be easy for the audience to remember what you said.
If you’re telling stories in front of an audience, start by asking yourself why they should care about whatever it is that you are talking about or trying to convey. Then go back through all the points that support each point until there is one big unstoppably powerful idea at its core that everyone agrees with (or agrees not to disagree on).
This can be difficult sometimes because it means going against what we think might be right but if done right then this process can lead us down paths where we find answers more quickly than if we were just trying everything out blindly first!
c) Speak Loud and Clear, but don’t Shout
Remember to speak loud and clear, but don’t ever shout at people.
Speak with confidence and conviction. Use a microphone if you need one (and always ask permission).
d) Maintain Eye Contact with the Audience
Maintain eye contact with the audience.
Use eye contact to show your sincerity, trust, and respect for them.
Eye contact should be not with a specific person, look all around the people.
e) Adult Learning Principal
The adult learning principle is based on the idea that adults learn best when you respect them. Because everyone who are more in age want respect.
On the other hand, if your speech is in front of students or those who are less of age then this will not be the case.
f) Target Emotional & Logical Person Both
Some people are more logical while some are more emotional. Emotional people will like your speech with your manners or attitude while speaking.
And if you use data and statistics in between then you will capture logical persons also.
f) Taking Question-Answer Sessions in Public
Be prepared for questions. You should be able to answer anything asked of you, but if you don’t know the answer it’s okay to say so. So, always gather all the information on the topic that you are going to speak about in front of all.
Know what you are talking about when answering a question. Don’t ramble on about anything in particular; instead, focus on your topic and provide an appropriate amount of detail.
Listen carefully! Not only do people want answers from their speaker, but they also like listening while they’re getting those answers because it makes them feel important and engaged in the conversation (this is especially true if they aren’t expecting any kind of response).
When someone asks a question, try not just to hear each word carefully but also pay attention as far as possible. You may miss something important or even change their mind about something entirely based on how well or poorly your answers went over with them at that moment!
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if necessary: many speakers have trouble remembering all their points so having someone who can help clarify things may make all the difference between success and failure.
The Bottom Line
To sum up, public speaking is one of the best ways to make a good impression on your audience. It is also a great way to practice presenting yourself as an expert in your field or topic. If you ever want to improve your speaking skills, then use this guide and apply its lessons to your life!