Public speaking instills fear and nervousness in most of us. According to Mark Roemer Oakland, there are a few ways to deal with that. Here’s how you can give an amazing speech:
- Don’t spout words, it’s a performance – A speech is made up of words coming together to make coherence and sense. But performance is much more. Your words become more powerful, and your audience sees you in a new light with your gestures and inflection. You show more resolution and build on suspense. If you have seen a one-man or woman play you would be all too familiar with this kind of performance. Like those artists, you capture your audience’s attention and keep it on you with words as mere tools to enable the speech. Perform in front of the mirror after writing a speech and run it by your friends and family before delivering it.
- Use eye contact – Some of the most powerful and influential orators in history have used eye contact to keep their audience’s focus on themselves. From President Roosevelt to Martin Luther King Junior. Great orators know that their audience is made up of individuals and it is important to make them feel personally engaged with you. Modern performers like poets and stand-up comedians take this important lesson to heart and always try to make eye contact with each and every one in their audience.
- The lectern is a hindrance – A lectern is for shielding you. It shields your body language and prevents the audience from seeing shaking hands and shivering knees. It’s a barrier that keeps you away from your audience. Move out from behind it and make a direct connection with your audience by using all the real estate the stage offers you. Movement makes you more accessible to your audience, keeps them hooked, and makes them more perceptive of your speech.
- Maintain posture – Posture is very important during your speech. Tall and straight evokes confidence and strength. That’s why you should never slouch during a speech. Your audience may perceive that as a lack of confidence and perceive a diluted version of your speech. Is also important to avoid sweat. Hot lights shining on your face may make you feel like you are in an oven. However, pit stains are embarrassing at best and distracting at worst. Try to wear thick clothing that doesn’t show any sweating or signs of nervousness.
- Become a storyteller – Even if you have great information in the speech, people may get easily bored. That’s why it’s important to paint a clear picture with vivid storytelling. Compelling, brief, and relevant stories encourage active participation from your audience and become a powerful tool to get your message across them.
Mark Roemer Oakland suggests that you take these tips and apply them to your next speech so that you can deliver a killer performance. If you can also nail the cadence of your speech with the right volume, tone, and speed instead of a monotonous dialogue, you will be able to create memories for your audience.