I was listening to one of the men who created TED talks on the radio today. They really are a phenomenon and have become well-known for bringing people in touch with thoughts, ideas and developments. The discussion I heard was about the key points to effective public speaking, something many of us want to know.
Few people can stand up and talk without getting nervous. We want to be accepted and if we are going to put ourselves in such a stressful situation then we want to know people will listen in a positive way. So, I was interested to hear about the new book on public speaking and some key points that were in it. If you want to read more about that I would suggest buying the book but I did reflect on my top five tips for low-stress public speaking.
- Know your subject. There is nothing worse than feeling you have to speak about something that is not your subject. It means you won’t feel comfortable as there will be gaps in your knowledge. The possibility that someone will ask you a complex question or will expose your weakness is always present.
- Be yourself. People will appreciate that you are nervous when you stand up to speak. The best talks come from people who speak really naturally about the subject and can demonstrate a passion for the ideas they share.
- Practise. This doesn’t mean you will need to know your talk word for word. But it does help for you to run through what you are going to say with a small group of family or friends. You need to use people who are going to be honest about how engaging the talk is but also if it is easy to understand.
- Talk from experience. Don’t just focus on theory and abstract concepts. Make sure that you bring your ideas to life using anecdotes that can explain things. The little stories are what can make the difference to people engaging with what you say, in short value storytelling within your talk.
- Relax. If you can keep your body as relaxed as possible then it can help to relax your mind. There are techniques that you can use to relax and help to de-stress yourself. Tension can have a negative impact on the body and mind
Public speaking is a great way to share knowledge, ideas and experience with others and it has an important place in society. When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone to stand up and talk?