What Do Great Public Speakers Have in Common?

Effective speakers ensure to leave lasting impressions during each presentation. Being a great public speaker means being able to translate your expertise into words understandable enough for your audience to comprehend even if they have very little knowledge on the topic.

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Apart from having a well-designed custom PowerPoint presentation, you also need to be confident in the delivery of your pitch. Not everyone has the inherent talent of flawlessly delivering their speech in front of a large audience.

Here are some of the notable traits that effective speakers possess—keep your eyes trained for qualities that are guaranteed to inspire, influence, and make a significant difference on your audience’s lives:

They start strong and end strong.

When the opening is executed right, it immediately engages the audience and all you have to do as the speaker is keep their attention on you for the duration of the presentation. Remember, the first words that spill from your mouth can either make or break your sales pitch.

Apart from this, you also have to end things as strong as your beginning. Pro tip: pattern your presentation akin to a story, wherein it has a beginning, middle, and end. The more memorable your speech is, the greater the chances of memory retention.

They exude confidence.

Even the world’s best orators get nervous, but their strength lies in their ability to conquer their nerves instead of the other way around. Your audience can smell fear and uncertainty—if you show weakness, the less likely it will be to engage and motivate them.

They speak in the audience’s language.

The head of TED, Chris Anderson, shares that the speaker’s primary objective is to build their idea in the minds of their audience. This means it should be communicated in a way that changes someone’s perspective, potentially influencing their actions for the present and the future.

One of his tips included speaking in the audience’s language. This means avoiding the use of industry jargon and instead, using metaphors and information that listeners are more familiar with.

He also recommends practicing in front of friends and have them give their feedback on which parts confuse them the most so that the speaker can improve their presentation.

They mix words with gestures.

Not only is modulating important, but so are mannerisms, as these also make an impact. These help convey your enthusiasm and convictions, putting emphasis on important information.

Most importantly, great speakers connect with their audience—don’t be afraid to make eye contact and ask rhetorical questions. Remember, your listeners should be able to relate with what you’re saying.

They are organized.

When your presentation is structured and is executed with a sound agenda, the more comprehensible it will be for your audience. Experienced speakers make sure that they clarify their objectives before presenting, as this will make the flow easier to follow. Plus, this allows audience members to save their questions for the appropriate sections

Public speaking is not an easy feat, but with practice and these principles in mind, you’ll be on the right track to becoming one of the best speakers out there.

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References:

Anderson, Chris. “TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking.” TED. March 2016. www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_teds_secret_to_great_public_speaking#t-33738

Boyes, Alice. “5 Tips for How to Gain Confidence at Public Speaking.” Psychology Today. April 9, 2013. www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201304/5-tips-how-gain-confidence-public-speaking

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