Confidence is an important attribute when it comes to public speaking but that only comes with experience and from an inner-calmness gained through not just past experience but also from being fully prepared before you stand behind the lectern.
One of the key attributes needed to help you to become a successful speaker is to be able to define yourself and project your own philosophies and beliefs through your personality. Simply reading a speech as it is written will not engage your audience and their attention will quickly drift away if you fail to inject your own brand of style, humour and personality into the words that you are delivering.
The organisation associated with public speaking known as Toastmasters International like to consider themselves as a community hub where experiences are shared and helpful advice and tips can be found.
Finding your voice and developing confidence is all about sharing the defining moments in your life and what makes you laugh or even angry with an audience so that they can relate to you more easily as a person and subsequently have a greater trust and interest in the words that you are delivering.
The basics of Public Speaking
We all have our own unique personality traits and methods that we use to get our message across. You can also get some help with your skills by taking part in some Public Speaking Training, but in addition to this, it is worth bearing in mind some of the basics of public speaking to help you on your way.
Control your Nerves
Easier said than done sometimes, but unless you are an extreme extrovert everybody is going to have some nerves and even the most experienced of performers still suffer nerves before they stand up to speak.
You can reduce your nerves by being thoroughly prepared beforehand and gain confidence through the knowledge that you are completely comfortable and familiar with the material you are using in your presentation.
You can even learn to use nervous energy in a positive way and make use of that adrenaline surge when you step up onto the podium.
A common fault amongst inexperienced speakers is to speak too fast. Not only will you get through your material much quicker than you wanted to but you will also risk losing the attention of your audience or simply not be as effective in getting your message across.
Try to think about the pace and tone of your voice and try to avoid making it sound like you are simply reading a script. This is a skill that takes time to develop and some speakers simply write down bullet points to refer to and speak without the aid of a script. It takes several years to perfect this technique so stick to a script at first but concentrate on trying to inject some of your own personality into how you deliver those words.
Use Visual Aids
You may be able to offer the most profound information and words that your audience has ever heard but no matter how dynamic your message is, some visual aids are often required to help get your point across.
Make the use of PowerPoint slides to add a more professional slant to your presentation but stick to a maximum of 20 different slides, or your audience may spend more time looking at the screen than paying attention to you.
Finding your voice and style of presenting that works best for you will set you out on the road to becoming a successful public speaker.
David Wilkinson is a speaking coach of several years. Now semi-retired, he likes to share what he has learned by blogging on the Internet.