For many, public speaking is a daunting challenge. Dealing with the attention of so many people coupled with the stress of articulating correctly and understandably makes most people nervous. But like every other activity, public speaking to requires skill and practice. All you need to know is the art of managing your thoughts while also connecting with your audience.
Every audience has one thing in common: they want to know, “What’s in it for me?” If your speech or presentation is all about you, you’ll never grab and hold their interest.
Confidence in public speaking
Effective voice modulation can mean the difference between a boring speech, and an audience captivating speech. However, modulation is not easy, and needs to be practised.
Focus on how you speak to people in an individual setting, the shift in pitch and the tone of your voice. You can modulate your voice by:
i) Varying the pitch of your voice: Females tend to have a higher pitch of voice, due to different anatomical structuring. When delivering speeches, tend to stick to lower pitches. Microphones are deceiving, as you may think it amplifies your voice. They do amplify voice, as well other articulatory mistakes, higher pitches and breathing! So next time you have a speech using a microphone, practice with it first.
ii) speaking slowly: I cannot emphasise enough, the power of pausing. When you pause, you are able to catch your breath. Your pauses will also make your audience lean forwards in their chair, and wait eagerly for your next message. Pausing is the best way to improve audience involvement and attention.
iii) Stress on certain words : When you increase emphasis or stress on certain words, you draw your audience’s attention. Choose powerful words to stress on, so that your message is captivating and clear.
iv) Speak quietly : Use this effect when you want your audience to calm down, or to hang to your every word. A certain way to grab the attention of someone, is through an assertive voice, rather than a loud authoritative voice.
The Importance Of Body Language In Public Speaking
Simply put, body language is your body’s way of communicating without the use of spoken words. It’s the combination of facial expressions, gestures, and movements that convey what goes on in your mind. eing aware of your body language throughout your entire presentation is necessary if you want people to continue paying attention to what you’re saying. There’s a reason why you’re presenting in front of an audience – you want people to listen to your message, whatever it may be. If you send out the wrong vibes (no thanks to your negative body language), then you’re essentially wasting everybody’s time (yes, including yours). You’re literally telling people to stop listening to you! With that said, here are the different types of body language you need to be aware of:
- Eye Contact
- Facial expressions
- Head movements
- Hand gestures
- Body postures