"What's your worst fear?"
We've all been asked that question before.
Some of us answered: "snakes", "death", or even "heights".
But many of us failed to answer: "public speaking."
1. Use a little self-depreciating humour. A crowd of people will appreciate your humanness, humility, and sincerity. Don't take the self-depreciating too far as you do not want it to come across as self-loathing or self-sabotaging. But you never know, your wry sense of humour might relieve some tension in the crowd.
2. Use effective opening remarks. If you don't have your audience's attention in the first five seconds, it will be hard -- if not impossible -- to get it back. Opening remarks are crucial to a public speaking engagement. So, be creative and grab them straight out of the blocks. Stay away from boring old power points. Instead, draw a picture on a whiteboard, flip chart or wipechart. Something that provokes thought or intrigues the audience to want to know more and stick around for talk.
3. Tons of energy and passion. No one wants to listen to someone speak when the speaker doesn't have energy or passion. According to Chris Anderson of TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking: “We live in an era where the best way to make a dent on the world may no longer be to write a letter to the editor or publish a book. It may be simply to stand up and say something . . . because both the words and the passion with which they are delivered can now spread across the world at warp speed.” Need I say more....
4. Tell a story and use anecdotes. Here is where being both a speaker and an artist is possible. Don't just tell a story; show the story -- show it with expression, tone, gestures, and body language. Pull your readers into the story and make them feel as if they are a part of it. A good way to do that is to use use drawings and doodles to show your story and thus, make your point.
5. Keep it simple. And finally, remember the "three S's" of public speaking: Keep your speech short, simple, and sincere. Don't drag your audience down a rabbit hole with your ramblings.
With these five tips under your belt, your next public speech will surely be successful!