Public Speaking 101

RDI Network
October 2021
3 min read

You have information to share but speaking to a room of people can be confronting. Public speaking is a common fear and nerves are normal. Here are a few tips that will help make you memorable and ease those nerves.

  • Audience. You want your audience to feel like you are speaking to them and not at them. There are a few things that can help enhance your presentation to achieve just this. First, understand who the audience is and what their background knowledge is. This will help in making sure the presentation is suited to them. Also, watch your audience’s reactions during your presentation. This is going to be your best tool while presenting to understand how they are feeling throughout.
  • Be Yourself. As cliche as it is, just be yourself. It is okay to let your personality come through when presenting. For example, show emotions, include humour or acknowledge that you are a little nervous. Your audience will become more engaged with you as a presenter when these simple human touches are included.
  • Great Beginning and a Great Ending. The opening is a chance to say something that is going to capture your audience from the start. Start with something that is striking. This could include a statistic, quote or fact. Likewise you want the same impact at the end as well. Try and think of a statement that will be memorable, summaries your presentation, and invokes the action from your audience.
  • This is a Speech, Not a Report. Remember that you are going to be giving this as a speech and not for people to read. So, adapt your language to fit the public speaking arena. Write your speech with a conversational mindset and avoid complex jargon, and just use prompts rather than reading directly. Additionally, rhetorical questions are a great technique to include in your speech.
  • Non-Verbal Behaviour. Non-verbal behaviour will add an extra layer to your presentation. For that reason, you want to avoid crossing your arms or having your hands in your pockets. Instead use hand gestures as you speak. This is also a handy way to channel your nerves and calm any anxiety around presenting. 


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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