Public speaking is an art, a performance, and a connection. It’s about understanding the audience, telling stories that resonate, and sharing lessons that can offer insight and be valuable to others. As I was preparing for my recent talk at the Ladies First Professional Development event, I found myself reflecting on my own journey and how it has shaped my approach to public speaking.
Today, I want to share with you some tips and techniques that I’ve learned throughout my journey as a public speaker, and how my unique experiences have shaped my approach to this art.
Embracing the Uniqueness
As an Indian girl, born in the UK and growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I learned early on the importance of combining the Eastern culture with the Western. I took the best of both and never chose one over the other. It’s okay to be different. In fact, being different means there are so many lessons to learn when you are pushing boundaries!
Pushing Boundaries and Taking Risks
Whether it was moving away to study at Sussex University, a rare feat for an Indian girl in 1989, or carving a career in the media without knowing much about the industry or a single person in it, I’ve always been a risk-taker. These decisions paved the way forward for others – and that makes me proud.
Loving Yourself Comes First
The biggest lesson of all, however, is that loving yourself must come first and foremost. It’s not selfish and there is nothing to feel guilty about. Only then can you really share the love, connect deeply with others, and build great relationships.
The Art of Public Speaking
Now, let’s delve into the art of public speaking. Here are some tips and techniques that I’ve found to be particularly effective:
Understand Your Audience
The first step to effective public speaking is understanding your audience. Knowing who you’re speaking to can help you tailor your message to their interests, expectations, and needs. This can make your speech more engaging and impactful.
Tell a Story
People love stories. They’re engaging, relatable, and memorable. When giving a speech, try to incorporate stories that resonate with your audience. This could be personal anecdotes, case studies, or hypothetical scenarios.
Practice Makes Perfect
Even the most experienced speakers practice their speeches. Practicing helps you familiarize yourself with your material, improve your delivery, and reduce your nervousness.
Use Visual Aids
Visual aids can enhance your presentation by providing a visual representation of your ideas. They can make complex information more understandable, keep your audience engaged, and help them remember your message.
Engage with Your Audience
Engaging with your audience can make your speech more interactive and enjoyable. This could be through asking questions, encouraging participation, or using humour.
Authenticity resonates with people. Be yourself when you’re speaking. Share your experiences, express your opinions, be confident and show your personality.
Keep It Simple
Simplicity is key in public speaking. Avoid jargon and complex language. Your goal is to communicate your message clearly and effectively, not to impress your audience with big words.
End with a Bang
The conclusion of your speech is your last chance to make an impact on your audience. Make it memorable by summarizing your key points, offering a call to action, or ending with a powerful quote.
Public speaking is a journey, and like any journey, it comes with its ups and downs. But with practice, perseverance, and a dash of courage, you can master this art and make a real impact on your audience.
I hope you found this guide helpful. If you’re interested in learning more about public speaking or other aspects of leadership and personal development, do explore our services at AH Action. We offer bespoke executive coaching and masterclasses, including Powerful Presentations and Media Training.
Remember, every journey starts with a single step. So why not take that step today and start your journey towards mastering the art of public speaking? You have a unique story to tell, and the world is waiting to hear it.
Thank you for spending your time with me today. I look forward to hearing about your public speaking successes!