When Oprah Winfrey spoke at the Golden Globes Awards, her speech lit up social media in practically no time. It was powerful, memorable, and in one way or another precisely what the world wanted to hear. It roused multiple standing O’s — and even a semi-serious Twitter campaign to elect her president.
All this in 9 brief minutes.
What made this short talk so impactful and compelling? There are many elements in her speech that made it so effective. Public speaking is so important that it could be the determining factor in many things such as your career development, your business growth, and even in the relationships you have with your loved ones. Let’s buckle down and understand how you can refine your skills.
Here is a list of 6 elements for powerful public speaking.
1. Anxiety is usual. Practice and Prepare!
Many people experience physical body reactions such as shallow breathing, increased heart rate, and trembling hands. The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you increasingly alarmed and ready to give your best performance. This can center your spirit and focus your thoughts.
The most ideal approach to conquer uneasiness is to plan, get ready, and prepare some more. Set aside the endeavour to go over your notes a few times. When you have gotten settled with the material, practice—a great deal. Record yourself in a video, or get a companion to evaluate your performance.
2. Recognize your Crowd
Keep three things in your mind before you begin to craft your message. That is:
The audience- WHO is attending the speech?
The purpose- WHAT is the primary objective of the speech?
The flow- HOW will the speech be delivered?
Knowing your audience is a very crucial part as people turn off when they think they’re listening to something too familiar. Find out as much about your audience members as possible. This will assist you in deciding your selection of words, levels of data.
When you speak, try to engage with your crowd. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved in your speech. If apt, ask leading questions targeted to individuals or groups, and motivate people to participate and ask questions.
3. Story is Queen
Instead of simply passing on information, use stories since that’s how we process the information. When using storytelling approaches it’s all right to be dramatic or euphoric or vulnerable, because it establishes a stronger bond between you and your audience as you go through the journey together. People don’t like to hear about a perfect person. But be cautious not to get too caught up in the story itself; it should have a simple, and the message of the story should tie in directly to the central objective of your speech instead of distracting from it. Maintain the emphasis on the crowd. Measure their responses, adjust your message, and remain adaptable.
4. Work on Body Gestures
If you’re nervous, the audience can easily see from your body language. Avoid crossing your arms, but feel free to use big open gestures. You can also make your speech more captivating by making eye contact with different individuals, moving around the stage, and coming closer to the audience. Movement and energy will also come through in your voice, making it more active and energetic.
5. Gear oneself up, not out
Think about whatever key phrases which make you happy. For instance, “I am so excited”, “It’ll be so great”, “I can’t wait to share this idea!”, “I am going to rock it”. Don’t stand backstage thinking about “What if I mess up?”
However, there is no single trick that immediately boosts confidence. Instead, it’s a combination of the preparation you put into a speech and the knowledge of what establishes effective communication that will put your fears in the back seat.
6. Be okay with the unexpected
Finish up your speech with a summary and a strong statement that your audience is sure to remember. You may forget a word; somebody may drop something backstage; there might be a technical difficulty. Pause for a minute, breathe deeply, and just roll with it. At the end of the speech, instead of recoiling backstage and thinking awful about every mistake made during the presentation, continue to be fully present with your audience. Talk to people; answer the questions, make the network, and so on.
Hope it helps!!
Jaini Bhavsar (There’s always room for bliss.)
6th July 2020
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