I’d like to share 3 great public speaking tips that you can use to increase your confidence, and have your words ‘land well’. You can use these tips whether you’re speaking in a meeting or presenting to a whole lot of people.
Public Speaking Tip 1- Have Your Words Land Well
Try this exercise from our Voice Training course.
Use a sentence/sentences from your talk or presentation. (the more you know your material, the more natural and confident you can be).
1) At home, pretend you want your thoughts and words to powerfully ‘land’ in the first row of the audience. To do this you could place a chair close to you.
2) Then at the same time as you say a sentence, look at the chair and point with a strong arm movement at the chair (‘person listening’). Do not get louder than you would normally speak in the situation. Notice how what you said was powerfully directed to the spot you pointed at. Your intent and speech followed and was placed where you directed it.
This also keeps you busy ‘placing your words’ and not worrying about what you sound like, which will increase confidence considerably.
3) Continue to practise this placing your thoughts and words to ‘land’ for listeners further away. You can place chairs in the 2nd, 3rd, etc rows as props if needed.
4) Next do the same activity without the pointing. Continue to direct your words as you did before, and have them ‘land’, because now you have the physical idea of this.
Public Speaking Tip 2 – Eye Contact
This follows on from Tip one.
When you think about it, each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual.
The best way to connect to your audience is by speaking to them as individuals. To do this, make continued eye contact with one person per thought. Each thought is about one sentence. When you focus on one person at a time, you make each person in the room feel like you are talking just to them.
You need to practice this, and as you do, it will actually make you less nervous. It is far easier (and more effective) to pretend to have a series of one-on-one conversations than it is to speak to everyone all at once.
Don’t forget to look at the people who are sitting at the side and back sections of the room. You want to bring them in to feel connected as well.
Public Speaking Tip 3 – It’s Not About You
You are there to present an idea, to teach, to lead, to inform, to inspire. Whatever the reason, it’s not about you, it’s about supporting and being generous to your audience. Ask yourself ‘what is my role/job in this presentation?’ What have you come to give to your audience? Keep this in mind and you will be less anxious and nervous.
Add these techniques to good breath support, forward resonance and voice projection (if needed), and your audience will be interested and pay attention.
Best wishes, Esther