When you’re in an executive position, effective public speaking is a necessity.
Moreover, effective public speaking will help you to appear more authoritative, gain you more respect, and allow you to achieve your career goals on a larger plane.
To be an effective public speaker, you need to understand that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Being clear and concise is important, but so is making sure you’re getting your organic message across.
Furthermore, how you look and sound informs your audience of your message as well. You can come across as inspirational, which is likely your goal. Or, you might come across as instigating, or interrogational—likely things you don’t want.
So, how can you be more effective with your public speaking?
Serve Your Audience
Again, inspiration is often the goal. If you’re trying to move your audience to think a certain way or perform a certain action, your words need to be able to motivate them.
You can do this by considering your purpose. Remember, you’re not writing a speech or giving a presentation for yourself. Stop thinking about what youreally want, and think about how your audience might respond to what you’re saying. What can you say to inspire them?
One way to achieve an inspirational tone is to make your presentation as personal as possible. If you can’t connect with your audience on a personal level, they might tune you out.
Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences—the good and the bad. If the people you’re speaking to can relate to you or what you’ve been through, they’re more likely to pay attention and believe what you have to say.
Practice Every Day
Effective public speaking takes a great deal of time and a lot of practice. Even if you have natural charisma, a good speaking voice, and you can organize your thoughts well, successfully speaking in front of a group of people can be difficult.
To practice, opt to speak in front of groups as often as possible to get better at it. Practice in front of a mirror at home, too. While you don’t want to come across as too “rehearsed,” you do want to make sure you’re confident in the way you’re delivering your message.
If you do make a mistake, don’t sweat it. There’s a good chance no one will even notice but you. Keep going, don’t apologize, and don’t stop to rewind your point. That can easily trip you up and set a negative tone for the rest of your presentation. If you can get through a mistake smoothly, there’s a good chance that no one will remember it even happened.
Pay Attention to Body Language
Public speaking is about more than just projecting your voice. It’s about visualization as well. If you appear closed off, rigid, or uncomfortable while you’re speaking, you won’t appear to be as believable or motivational.
While big gestures, posture, and the way you move your hands are important, it’s equally important to pay attention to the details. Micro-expressions—a term further developed by Paul Eckman—are simple little gestures that you may not even notice about yourself. A sudden twitch of the eye, rapid blinking, a small-but-quick grin, etc., are all examples of micro-expressions. These nuances can say a lot to someone without you actually having to say a word.
In summary, body language is extremely important in effective public speaking, so be aware of how you’re presenting yourself.
If public speaking causes you a lot of stress, or you’re unsure of how to be more impacting, you might benefit from individual counseling.
Feel free to get ahold of me if you’re feeling a lot of pressure or stress due to your speaking responsibilities. Or visit here to learn more about how I can help.
Together, we can work on different ways to not only alleviate that stress but to be a more effective public speaker than ever before.