person giving an effective speech to a crowd

Public Speaking 101: Tips for Giving an Effective Speech

Public speaking isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite pastime. Whether you have stage fright, experience trouble crafting speeches, or simply prefer one-on-one conversations, I understand your hesitance to stand in front of a crowd to talk. However, in the business world, chances are you will be required to speak in front of a group at some point. Whether it’s a crowd of 500 or a small conference room filled with business executives, use these tips to giving an effective and successful speech or presentation.

Take a Breath

As you walk up to the stage or head of the table, remember to breathe! By slowing down your breathing, you are calming your body and mind and making the situation much less tense. Also remember that the crowd you’re in front of are people too, so they understand your nerves. Take a breath, relax, and remain calm.

Create an Attention Grabber

Begin your speech or presentation with a prompt, question, or statement that has people ready to listen. This could be a shocking statistic, a reflective question, or an idea that they haven’t considered before. Starting off strong is a great way to keep the audience’s attention throughout the entirety of your session.

Move Around a Bit

Lectures can sometimes be ineffective simply because they don’t require much of the audience’s attention. Wake up the crowd by moving around a bit (if you’re able to) while you’re speaking. This encourages the audience to remain focused and keep their eyes on you, rather than falling asleep or becoming distracted by something else in the room.

Prepare Notes (but not too many!)

Nobody wants to hear a word-for-word speech read to them. Not only is it boring for the audience, but it makes you look less professional. The pros know everything about the topic they are speaking on and come with a few notes of things to keep in mind. You should do the same. Jot down some important ideas or concepts that should be touched on and leave the rest to your memory.

Visual Aides

If you can, make a visual presentation, diagram, or pamphlet that allows the audience to physically see what you are talking about. Incorporating as many of the five senses as you can (touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste) are great ways to keep people engaged and can help them remember your information even when the session is over.

Still feeling a little anxious? Looking for more advice? Reach out to me, Karl Stearns with KMS Marketing Solutions, for more effective public speaking tools. Better yet, I’m available to speak at your seminar or business about all sorts of marketing strategies.

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