5 Amazing Tips For Impactful Public Speaking

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As an entrepreneur, you'll not get around talking about your startup. Today, we'll share 5 tips that will take away the fear of public speaking & help you get more comfortable with the situation:

We hear it over and over again that public speaking makes some people even more afraid than death. Isn’t that fascinating? The graphic below almost demands that I write this article.

5 Amazing Tips For Impactful Public Speaking

I remember the first time I gave a speech. It was at a school and I was speaking to over a thousand students. I remember that day so well. For me personally, it was one of the most life changing events. I was so overpowered by the message I wanted to deliver, that the fear of what people may think of me as I went up on stage almost didn’t seem to matter within a few minutes into the speech. I was amazed and humbled not to mention, surprised. Very surprised. I thought I would mumble at some point but it never happened.

I later saw a video of that speech and realized that I had mentioned a couple of things that weren’t even in my script. Actually, I did not even look through my script through the course of the speech. Again, I was so overwhelmed with enthusiasm by the message that I was passionately communicating and that fear almost ceased to exist.

Here are five tips that I’ve developed in the last 5 years of public speaking that will help you get over the fear of public speaking too:

#1 The Message

It’s about the message. Not you. It’s not about how you look or even how you sound. It’s about the message you are communicating. People are there to listen to your message, your idea. So let me ask you this – are you passionate about your message? Are you enthusiastic enough about what you are communicating? Do you believe in every word that you’re saying? Believe it with all your heart? Does the message you want to communicate come from the core of your being?

To become an impactful public speaker you need to become one with your message. You need to completely believe in what you are saying in order to connect with your audience.

#2 Use Body Language

I’ve also realized that practicing a healthy stance can help you be more confident as you go up on stage. There is a great TED talk by Amy Cuddy titled “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” – I would recommend this video to everyone. She explains how different body postures can almost immediately help you increase your confidence level. So yes, practicing power postures before your speech can help you gain confidence. Any public speaker would agree with me when I say that confidence is key to giving impactful public speeches. This brings me to my next tip:

#3 Know Yourself

True and lasting confidence comes from within. It is vital that, as a speaker, you are confident about yourself. Do you accept yourself? Do you think well of yourself? Or are you too critical and don’t take enough care to understand yourself? By knowing yourself I am referring to knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are.

If you are confident about your strengths and hopeful to improve on your weaknesses you can become an impactful public speaker. Excellent public speakers have an authentic flare about them. They are so comfortable in their own skin that watching them speak makes you comfortable.

#4 Understand Your Audience

The more you plan and research the audience that you hope to communicate to the more confident you will feel about speaking to them. Public speaking is all about adapting and understanding your audience. If you have a good understanding of the audience there is a better chance for you to connect with them. This is something which you would have to get right from the first 20 seconds of your speech in order to win the attention of the audience.

#5 Rehearse The Message

As soon as I receive an invitation to speak somewhere I’m already thinking of my opening lines. I don’t want to set a specific time to prepare, I want to get myself mentally well prepared in advance. Make sure you start taking notes as and when you get ideas for your speech. Envision yourself delivering a successful speech, envision people congratulating you after the speech, be positive.

As you prepare with your notes, do rehearsals. Rehearsals help you ease before a speech and makes you feel better prepared. Don’t recite. Rehearse. Do it like you are actually on stage and use your emotions and body language. Get familiar with the message before you get on the stage. And finally, when you get on stage give the audience your warmest smile before you begin your speech. Smiling can help you relax as you think of your opening line.



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Photo credit: acaben via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA