The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking
Do you ever find yourself being the only person in a conversation that doesn't seem to be able to hear? We've all been there, and it can get really frustrating. In order for your voice does not go unheard though, I will teach you the quick and easy way to effective speaking that can help make a huge difference in how people perceive what it is that YOU have to say!
1. Know your audience
There are many different types of audiences. Know the target audience and know the skillset that they have before you start speaking to them. Knowing this will help tailor your speech so it's less about teaching people something new, and more about giving a talk on what they already know.
2. Be clear and concise with your message
You don't want the audience to be left confused. Make sure that the message is clear and concise so the people in the room can understand what you're trying to say at all times.
Talk too fast (i.e., use words per minute) or talk without pausing for breath both will make it difficult for an audience member to keep up with the content of your speech, thereby increasing their chances of not understanding
If a speaker drones on and on, they might only have one sentence's worth of information but still, take two minutes before moving onto another subject area
This confusion could lead someone who doesn't know much about the topic to tune out from listening altogether
- Slang also complicates things because different people might not understand the meaning
- State the main point of the speech at the beginning and then restate it once more at the end so that people know what you're trying to say before they start listening
- Use a PowerPoint or other visual aids, such as flashcards if you are speaking in front of a large group (i.e., over 100 people)
It's always best to err on the side of being concise rather than wordy. You want your audience members walking away from your talk knowing exactly what message you were delivering. Imagine if someone was listening but couldn't figure out even ONE thing about your topic! It doesn't make for an effective presentation when the speaker is unable to clearly communicate their thoughts
3. Engage the listener by making eye contact
It's the easiest way to get the audience members engaged. It also helps with being able to read reactions from the listeners as they are listening, which is important when you're speaking in front of a large group. If someone doesn't understand something and looks confused or feels uncomfortable, it will help you tailor your speech more effectively
- Maintain eye contact by looking at the person who has asked the question
- When switching between people, look back and forth enough so that both people feel like they have been acknowledged but don't linger on one individual for too long; this can often make them feel uncomfortable
- Eye contact should be held about two seconds longer than normal conversations would last because this is an educational setting where the speaker needs the audience to stay engaged
The speaker should also maintain the same eye contact with people who are the most difficult to read reactions from. For example, if someone is sitting in the back row and looks completely uninterested, the speaker will want to continue maintaining eye contact with that person so they don't tune out
This might be a fun exercise for the audience: before the presentation begins, have each individual write down what they would like you as the speaker's main goal of your talk
This way when you get done speaking everyone can walk away feeling satisfied and content because their needs were met it's important not only for this specific group but (in general) any type of speech given by anyone
4. Practice before you speak to get rid of nervousness or stuttering
Nervousness or stuttering is the last thing you want to have happened when presenting. Practice the speech over and over again so that the nerves don't take over during the presentation
- It's best to practice in front of a mirror because this will help with your eye contact as well
- If someone has trouble reading their lines, it's always good to read them aloud before the day comes (i.e., 24 hours beforehand) That way
- if something doesn't sound right, they can come up with an alternative phrase based on what they see written down
For example: "I am here today talking about my research" would be changed into "I'm honored to share some insights from our study." This is the perfect example of how the speaker should use the audience members' feedback to tailor the speech
Practice reciting the main point and closing remarks so that it flows naturally, without stuttering or sounding choppy. This also helps when deciding on what order you want to present your points in
A lot of people are drawn to public speaking because they love the idea of being able to show off their knowledge about a topic. But there's more than just showing off; it's about communicating one's thoughts effectively while maintaining eye contact with listeners and making sure both sides understand each other. It might not be an easy feat, but the end result is worth all the effort!
5. Use vocal variety to make what you say more interesting
Vocal variety is the best way to make the audience member want to listen. It's the key ingredient in an effective presentation
Varying the tone of your voice, switching from high pitches with a slower cadence to low tones that are quicker paced and louder will keep people engaged in what you're saying
If someone doesn't understand something, it can also help if the speaker switches up their vocal tone so the listener understands what they were trying to say better. For example: "So there I was…" would be changed into "I'm sure many have been faced with this situation" or even just adding a more suspenseful inflection at the end of the sentence could do wonders for making them feel like they're actually the one in the story
It's important to also vary the volume of your voice when presenting. Some people might find it difficult but it can be done if they imagine their audience is in a stadium and that the person on stage needs to capture the attention of everyone there
6. Use pauses for emphasis or dramatic effect
A pause is the best way to get the audience member's attention if they're not paying enough attention. It also helps with conveying a sense of power and authority
For example, the speaker can wait for the last sentence in their speech before taking a quick breath so that it looks like they have one more thing to say
Another good time to use pauses is when the speaker discusses something particularly interesting or important about the topic at hand. Pauses give people time to digest what was just said and process the information
A great way of using them effectively would be by stopping after each main point or conclusion of the talk as an opportunity for applause from those listening. This will help make the points stick better in the audience members' minds
A pause can also be used to emphasize a point the speaker wants the audience member to remember, or if they want them to take in the information before they continue with their speech. For example: "Many people are drawn to public speaking because it gives them an opportunity for showing off what they know" would turn into "I'm sure many of you have been drawn towards this profession due to the chance that you'll get the chance show off all your knowledge." The pauses not only give weight and meaning but also make it easier for listeners by giving them time while still allowing the presenter space for more input
Effective public speaking is the foundation of the modern world. Communication skills are necessary for success in any profession, which is why it's so important that we develop our own abilities as well.
What's Your Reaction?