Have you ever wanted to be better at public speaking?
Maybe you would like to be more confident, present well in front of clients, or maybe you just want to be able to deliver a great speech anywhere, anytime without notes.
Here are 4 effective public speaking tips you can use pretty much right away.
Public Speaking Tip #1: Phrasing
When you think about it, 93% of all communication is nonverbal. While amateurs are out there focusing on what to say, it's the professionals that are focusing on actually how to say it.
A large part of this is something that we refer to as "phrasing" - where you put different inflections and tonal patterns on specific words to reinforce the point you're attempting to make.
For instance, if I was to say the sentence "I didn't say he stole the money", just phrasing one word differently can actually change the entire meaning of the sentence.
If you say the sentence in your head or out loud emphasizing just the first word: "I didn't say he stole the money." What does that mean? It means that I didn't say it. I mean, it means he stole the money, but I just didn't say it.
Try emphasizing the third word to see if it makes a difference. "I didn't say he stole the money." Well what does that mean? It means that he still stole the money, but I didn't say it. Maybe I wrote it, maybe I emailed it, or maybe I mimed it, etc.
If you keep doing this with each of the words you will soon see that it changes the entire meaning of the sentence. This is important, because people feel your intention when you speak way more than they actually listen to the words you're using.
So a good exercise is to practice this out loud, or even record yourself, and say the sentence multiple ways until you can clearly hear the difference between the phrasing of the different words. Just this alone will start to transform your public speaking skills.
Public Speaking Tip #2: Tell Stories
The second of our confident public speaking tips, and one of the most important is this...
Amateurs share facts while professionals tell stories. Every civilization since the dawn of time has passed down information using stories. Why do they do this? It's pretty simple. It's because it actually works.
The great thing about stories is they're visual, they're emotional, and they're much more powerful than just facts and figures alone. There is something special that happens when you begin telling a story.
It's kind of like people go into a trance-like state or something, and they start to enjoy themselves, and they are certainly way more focused on what you have to say. In fact, you have their full attention when you begin telling a story.
If you've ever told a story to a young child before, you'll know that as soon as you finish the story the kids says, "tell it again", "say it again", "I want to hear the story again!" Your audience is just a bunch of little kids dressed up in adult bodies. Unless of course you're speaking to schools, well then of course they are just a bunch of kids! I want you to contemplate what is a personal story that you have, or a client story, or someone else's story that relates to your topic?
A story is easier to remember than a bunch of abstract logical points. The trick is instead of trying to remember a story, is to relive it. That's what the best speakers do. They're inside the story imagining that it's happening either to you right now, or that you're witnessing it right now.
Then basically all you got to do is describe what's actually going on. Now, when you relive a story as opposed to remember it, something quite magical happens in the room. What actually happens is time stands still.
I know you've had a story told to you before, and when that story was told, everything just stopped. Here's the cool thing. When you actually relive a story your audience will actually feel like it's happening to them right now as well. Learn to tell stories, because it warps time, and it draws everybody in to what you're saying.
Public Speaking Tip #3: Turn Fear Into Excitement
When I run public speaking workshops many of our students start off with a little bit of nervousness, or they're a little bit scared and that's perfectly normal. The fact is when you're about to deliver a talk you are going to create two different feelings inside the body. The feeling of confusion, because you're probably doing it for the first time, and the feeling of excitement, because you're doing it for the first time.
But, did you know that the feeling of nervousness and the feeling of excitement are actually quite similar? Both are tingling feelings of expansiveness in your chest, and it's just a one millimetre shift in our thinking that turns that fear into excitement.
So instead of telling yourself "I'm nervous" or "I'm scared", why not try saying "I'm excited" or "I feel alive" about this talk? Once you do this the first few times you'll actually see just how effective it can be.
What I've learned to do over the years is when I get that feeling in my body of what other people might label "anxiety", I call that "expansion", and I like to expand on a regular basis. So when I get that feeling of expansion I know that I'm alive, and I'm doing things.
The other thing is, if you think about it, if two people are about to jump on a roller coaster and one of those people are scared of the roller coaster, and the other one is excited. What is the core difference between those two people? Well the core difference is simply what they're telling themselves. At the end of the day, if you still feel the fear just remember that fear stands for: Face Everything And Rise.
Public Speaking Tip #4: Practice
It may not be what you want to hear, but it is most important and that is to practice. Practice, practice, practice, practice! If you don't practice enough it's going to show. That's just the facts of how it works. You need to practice. It's just like playing a sport.
Public speaking is a doing thing, it's not a thinking thing. Champions are not made on the field, they're made in training. That's it. They're made in training, and they're made with a lot of practice.
The difference between an amateur and a professional speaker is that amateurs practice until they get it right, and professionals practice until they can't get it wrong. So my advice is practice until you can't get it wrong.
The trick to this is to enjoy the practice. Make it fun, make it playful, make it light. See, if you enjoy the practice the fact is you're going to practice more often, and hey the more often you practice then the more successful you are bound to become.
I know some of these tips may sound a little bit counter intuitive, or perhaps they're not what you're expecting, but having trained thousands of presenters since 2009, and having delivered hundreds of presentations myself and hundreds of courses myself, I know that they can work wonders for you as well.
If you enjoyed these tips for public speaking, please share this page with your friends, or make some comments down below, but most importantly put all of this stuff into action!
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