Throughout the history of human civilization, people have been expressing their confidence and strength, not only by force, but also by the noble art of public speaking.
The orators of ancient Greece were highly respected and valued in the community.
Likewise, today’s world leaders are admired and esteemed when they have the power to address the public with poise and conviction.
Such a high regard for public speaking makes the average person cringe at the idea of talking in front of an audience no matter how big or small.
Whether giving a toast at a wedding or delivering a speech to a large assembly, most people make a big deal about public speaking and try to avoid it as much as possible. But public speaking should not cause such a big fuss.
Challenging as it may be, public speaking can be done by following a few simple guidelines.
Like any other endeavor, public speaking requires careful preparation to be successful.
Many people would dream of having those inspired spontaneous speeches seen in movies; however, such scenes rarely happen in real life.
To have at least a decent speech, one should plan well. Even the world’s most famous leaders prepare for public addresses, and many have teams to work out those plans.
Well, even if you do not have a speech preparation committee you can prepare for public speaking.
First, know what occasion the speech is for. The Gettysburg address would definitely not be appropriate for a wedding; thus, a speech has to fit the event where it will be delivered.
Second, examine the audience who will hear the speech. An assembly of academics would not take a perky speaker seriously; one should choose a suitable public speaking style based on the audience.
Third, consider what is expected in the speech. A farmer’s association would usually not be interested on a speech about the intricacies of beadwork; one should carefully study the subject matter to be tackled in public speaking.
Again, dazzling spontaneous speeches rarely happen in real life. Most good speeches have been written before their delivery.
When writing for public speaking, carefully organize the contents of the speech.
It is key to begin with a strong introduction. You want to catch the audience’s attention early to prevent them from getting bored.
The contents of the speech should relate well and support each other. It is not good to digress too much; though some deviations help attract attention.
No matter how stirring a speech is, it is useless if the people forget it the instant they leave the gathering. Conclusions should give a concise but memorable recap of the body.
This is the part most people are afraid of; but when proper planning and writing is done, the delivery should be easy.
First, decide whether to speak from memory or to use notes. Beginners will benefit from a script or a guide. When you become more comfortable speaking in public, you can start relying on memory.
Reading directly from a script is boring for the audience; thus, it is important to connect with the audience throughout the speech. Look up, make eye contact. Smile. Vary your tone of voice.
Speaking from memory is impressive, but it is difficult to avoid missing some parts of the speech.
Speaking with notes can be a good compromise so long as you are able to expound on the points well.
The choice of how to deliver the speech depends entirely on the speaker; thus, it is important to weigh the options carefully.
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