Speaking in front of a crowd can be a terrifying experience even if you’re the most extroverted of people. But if you’re passionate about what you do and you want other people to be as passionate as you are, speaking in front of people is the only way to achieve that goal.
The only way you can share that piece of yourself with several people at once, to show them who you are and what you’re passionate about, is to get up and speak publicly. But how do you do that successfully?
How do you get over the nerves of public speaking and deliver a speech or a seminar so powerful it makes people want to follow you anywhere?
We took a look at some of the best public speakers out there and broke down what it was that made them so easy to listen to.
They Speak With Confidence
The first tip we have for you is perhaps the most obvious, but the most often overlooked. You need to learn how to speak with confidence.
When your presentation is bogged down with “uh’s” or “um’s” your crowd will start to wonder if you’re the expert on this subject. You can’t seem as though you’re uncertain about what you’re saying in any way.
Stand up straight, square your shoulders, keep your chin up and don’t be afraid to project your voice. Oftentimes it’s those physical cues that will lead people to believe that you’re full of confidence even when you’re actually shaking in your shoes!
They Express Excitement
Next up, you need to be excited about what you’re talking about. Nothing is going to lose your audience’s interest quite like looking down at your cue cards and reading in a monotone voice. Even if you’re confident about what you’re saying unless you show that you’re excited about your subject no one else is going to be excited either.
That’s not to say that you should jump up and down on stage and be unprofessional. There are ways to show your excitement without resorting to that. But you do have to use your voice and your body language to show people that you’re invested and that they should be invested too.
Authenticity can be a difficult thing to master especially when you’re standing in front of a crowd of people. It’s so easy to resort to looking down at your prepared notes and coming off like a robot.
If someone wanted to read the notes off of a notecard, they would have stayed at home and looked up your information online. What they want when they walk into your venue is to see you presenting your information as yourself, not as some meticulously planned presentation that you don’t vary from in the slightest.
It’s important to plan. It’s important to practice. But it’s also important to learn how to sound like you’re having a conversation with friends.
Passion and excitement are two different things. It’s easy to fake excitement. But passion is something that comes out from inside of us.
People can feel it. If you’re passionate about what you’re talking about, it’s infectious. Other people are going to become passionate about it too.
In many settings, we learn to hide the things we’re passionate about because that kind of energy feels inappropriate for most conversation. But when you’re standing on stage in front of people who are there to hear you talk, that’s the perfect time to let that passionate side come out.
They’re True to Themselves
While some of the more famous public speakers put on an act, you don’t have to develop an entire stage persona to be a successful public speaker. When you are willing to be yourself, to get down on your audience’s level and be real with them, that energy will come through.
Even the most awkward and shy people on this planet have something about them that is relatable to other people. You have to tap into that and use it to get your audience hooked. That’s the most real part of yourself.
They Get to the Point
This is another key factor to a successful public speaking gig. You have to be able to get to the point and keep it short and sweet. If you’re 100% personable, passionate, and confident for a 30-minute speech, but you drag that speech on for an hour, you’re going to lose your audience.
Make sure you go over what’s necessary, that you cover all of your points, and that you wrap it up when you’re on a high note. Keeping things drawn out isn’t going to win you any fans.
They Know How to Connect
The best public speaking events happen when the speaker knows how to have a conversation with their audience. It might seem tricky to have a conversation with hundreds of people in comparison to just one, but the general ideas are still the same.
Give them something to think about, something to respond to, and you’ll have their attention.
They’re Good Storytellers
Presenting an idea as just an idea in a boardroom is great. But when you’re at a public speaking event, you want to present that idea as a story. A bullet point of things to talk about isn’t a good presentation, but tying all of those things together in a cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end will keep your audience engaged the entire time.
If you can, use visual tools to aid in your story. Use your experiences, your knowledge, and any related stories that others have told you to connect with your audience and keep them engaged.
Become One of the Best Public Speakers
The best public speakers aren’t necessarily people who aren’t afraid to speak in public. Instead, they’re people who have taken that fear and used it to motivate themselves to do better. When you arm yourself with the best tips on how to conduct a great speech, you’re giving yourself the best chance to succeed.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to give an engaging presentation, check out this post next!