When I was about four or so I spoke to my imaginary friends and stuff animals on the picnic table. Motivating them to rise up with me to leave the go on an adventure of sorts. As an only child, my parents thought it was cute and snapped a few candid shots of me. Being a ham as my parents would put it seemed to be in my blood. The spotlight seemed to be a knack I enjoy. When I came to do a speech for toastmasters it seemed fairly easily. I did a lot of preparation beforehand practicing my speeches five or six times. Some speeches I have done off the cuff or minimal prep this may not be the best way for anyone new to public speaking. Do what works for you! Here are some tips I found along my journey of public speaking:
- Create a persona that you want people to see you as. Stand up straight, head up, shoulders back and practice your stance while looking in a mirror, on video camera, or with family memories and friends. This way you can see your own body language and gage what improvements to go from there. This is how people will see you, how do you want them to see you? Confident, well-spoken? Fun and outgoing?
- Write a speech that tells your story, tells your audience who you are and what you are wanting to become. Your first speech in toastmasters is an ice breaker. A basic introductory speech about you and traits you want to share about yourself. When speaking you are telling the world who you are. Make it you, make it memorable.
- Practice. Practice your speeches daily and multiple times before actually giving your speech. You can add more pauses and count on any filler words you have. I find that adding hand movements and body movements cue me when to move on to the next segment of the speech.
- When you are standing in front of a crowd:
- Relax, take a deep breath before you begin and let it out slowly before beginning your speech. They are there to hear from you. Take your time to ready yourself before you begin.
- Move with purpose. If you are feeling the need to move, move your hands or walk around to talk to other areas to the audience. You want to move intentionally and to further a point.
- Make eye contact. Make a connection with your audience. Eye contact or look just above their brow shows you who is listening and lets your gage your audience’s mood to liven it up a bit or tone it back some.
Thank you for stopping by! What are some tips you have for public speaking?
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Keep Kicking and smiling! –TJ Banski