Everyone wants to walk the talk, be it for filming content for social media or making that big presentation sound that more convincing. It always is handy to know how the professionals do it and that’s why Salt is here to help!
Do a Background Check on your Audience
This is probably the first thing you need to do and find out if you’re speaking to professionals, academics, students or children. Do they know more about the subject than you do? Or have no clue? Judging your audience can help you tone down humour or help to turn it up, because you really don’t want to make a joke with a double meaning in front of your boss or other bosses and you really wouldn’t want to make the ladies uncomfortable. So snoop around and find out who’s going to be listening to you as that’s going to make it so much easier to tackle the next step.
Say What You Want to Say, in a Fun Way!
The whole point of your speech is to say what’s necessary and required, in a fun way that everyone can digest. In other words we mean the key to being memorable and making the audience remember what you say, is to be interesting and speak about interesting things. But then do think if it’s in your best interest to crack jokes about the latest sales figures in front of your sales manager or department. You can definitely make a boring presentation lively by presenting facts in a fun manner. We recommend you pass your content by a few friends and listen to their feedback, even though you might not include their suggestions.
Mark Your Presence
When your mum worried you to stand straight and walk straight, she was trying to work on your posture and presence which is quite important when it comes to delivering a speech or even at a meeting. Body Language plays a major role in public speaking, because an audience will believe and listen to a properly poised speaker than someone slouched and hunched. Even your style and dress sense plays an important role. So much that if you’re pitching a high value project in a Hawaiian shirt, there might be questions at the back of the listeners’ minds. Remember, when you speak to stand straight, tall, feet slightly wide apart and speak while not forgetting to dress the part as well.
Use Your Hands
You can’t stand in front of a crowd with your hands behind your back like a shy school going child when you have to stand up and deliver the end of the month report or do a pitch presentation for your startup or team. Neither can you stand at attention and speak, because we aren’t in the military! The only way to make your audience comfortable with what you’re saying is to use open palm gestures. This simply means, if you’re not holding a mic, use your hands to make gestures which can enhance what you’re saying. We know this isn’t simple, but a bit of practice can go a long way.
This is probably the most important part of speaking like a pro, just being yourself. You’re only giving a speech or talk because someone forced you, the team members thought you were brilliant for the job, you forced yourself because you need new leads or you generally can speak with ease. Whatever the reason was, you were chosen because of you. We recommend you dig deep into yourself and pull out the best version of you and simply deliver what you have within you with a little bit of fine tuning and confidence.
Practice, Practice, Practice
To become a better speaker, it takes heaps of practice. If you want to ace the next time you have to stand up and speak, make sure you perfect these tips and practice, practice, practice in front of the mirror or in front of a group of close friends and family. They can be the best and most honest critics, so do learn to suck it up and absorb the feedback you get because any type of feedback can only make you improve and edge you on your journey of sounding more like a pro!