Communicating Effectively With Confidence (II): Public Speaking
Personal communication, and, public speaking.
The basis of these two aspects of communication stem from confident and effective communication which involves active two-way listening and speaking, mental preparation, effective body language. Effective communication, especially, is not just about talking, but exchanging in such a way that the message you intend to pass across is clear as well as the tone and feeling, and the receiver understands it and interprets it the same way and in the same tone and the same feeling you had in mind. You can read more in my first-part-article of Communicating Effectively on personal communication here.
Public speaking, as we know it, involves a person addressing an audience. It can be scary and can cause a range of feelings of anxiety and self-doubt. But with practice, you can master it and as always, improve on that mastery and improvise. The act spans several, including answering a question in class (most times, you’ve probably had to speak louder or “pump up the volume” because your teacher is not the only one you’re sharing your response with), delivering a brief talk at a conference parallel session, explaining your view of a sermon in front of your peers of your religious group, anything that involves you addressing plenty people. “Plenty” is relative.
This article today is going to be more of a quick go-to guide on how to talk in public as most of confident communication is addressed in my first-part-article. And what I need for you, a prerequisite, is to SHAKE OFF ALL NERVOUSNESS AND SHYNESS and grab ’em by the horns.
Mental preparation. Verbal preparation. Rehearsals. Research. Research on what you’re talking about. Is it a headline, a preamble, an overview? Research. Develop on what you’re going to talk on. Look for details that most people don’t know. Rehearse it. More than twice. Successive rehearsals reinforce the details into memory. Ensure your choice of words are good. Know your audience. If it’s the case of being called on impromptu, honey, wrack your brain for something or garner some info. A general piece of advice is to read beforehand. That means reading broadly. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Tell yourself that you can do it. Talking positively to yourself like you’d do for others goes amazingly long ways in boosting morale and self-esteem.
Communicate clearly. Speak simply. Stay professional. You can infuse it with some comedic bits to ease the crowd and yourself. Be original. Don’t lie. Be humble. Be patient. Pay attention. Listen, not just because you’re waiting for your turn to speak. Listen to understand and give an effective feedback. Try to see it as a conversation, or a story you’re telling. Your crowd is a human one not a robot colony. Make sure to pace your words. Don’t talk too fast or too slow.
3. Appearance and body language.
Dress good. Look good. Look smart. Be presentable, Darling. Wear something you’re comfortable in not just because it’s trendy. While you aim for comfortable, aim for your size and a good appearance.
On the context of body language, maintain eye contact. Use your hands. Use your fingers if you’re listing something. Stand straight. You can pace about f it’s allowed. Give a smile. Ensure that you give off positive vibes, and not depressed, scared vibes.
On a final note, and summarily,
Prepare. Rehearse. Read.
Give positive body language.
Best of luck! Rooting for you! :)