Spotlight on Meetings and Conventions
Top public speaking tips
If you have an event looming and you’re worried about speaking in front of an audience, working group, or camera, know this: you’re not alone!
Public speaking may be Eklosion’s line of business, but even our professional hosts get the jitters sometimes. Luckily, with a few tricks of the trade and the benefit of onstage experience, our hosts learn to manage their nerves and use that adrenaline to their advantage.
Here are four tips that will help you get ready for your next speaking engagement, whether you’ll be there to share your knowledge and ideas or moderate the event.
Great speeches aren’t made on the fly! The best speakers are the ones who practice, practice, practice. That’s what gives them the confidence to deliver a message with conviction and the ease to be spontaneous and deviate from the script.
If you’re a finalist for an award, start scribbling notes a few days before the ceremony. What
would you say if you had to give the speech right away? Once you’ve got your notes, take some time alone, picture yourself in front of the audience, and deliver the first draft of your speech. Do you like what you hear? Are you missing anything? Is it clear and concise? Can you deliver the content with conviction? Then let it settle. As the days pass, ideas will spontaneously pop into your head that you can use to flesh out and fine-tune your remarks.
Take your time
As your breathing quickens and your nervousness spikes, chances are you’ll speak much more quickly than you intended. Your audience, in turn, may have a hard time following you and could miss the point of your speech. Just before you’re about to speak, take three deep breaths. It’ll slow your heart rate and help steady your pace.
What kind of speaker moves you and keeps you hanging on every word? The flawless orator with the impeccably crafted speech, or the storytelling type who treats the audience like a friend? Find where you fi t in between those two extremes. The goal is to be authentic to use your strengths, feelings, and knowledge to your advantage. Consider this: The more you want to share something with your audience (a reaction, a feeling, a brief story), the closer you’ll be to your authentic self. Add a little courage and confidence and you’ll have everything you need to connect with your audience and speak successfully in public!
The fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, is extremely common —up to 75% of people experience some degree of fear when speaking in front of an audience.
Be Clear. Be Concise.
Whatever brings you to the mic, make sure your message is clear and concise. The longer the speech, the more people you’ll lose, and the greater the chance your moment in the spotlight will end up making a poor impression. A final word: Don’t take yourself too seriously! You’ll enjoy speaking that much more and your audience will enjoy it right along with you.
This article was published in the Québec City Convention Centre's magazine, Québec Centre.