Do you know that? The lecture, which one was actually already looking forward to, begins, but after a few minutes thoughts wander. Somehow the speaker fails to grab the audience’s attention. Speaking in front of an audience is not for everyone – at least that’s what the popular belief is. In truth, however, professional speakers were rarely born with their gift. The good news: Anyone can learn! It may take some effort, but it is really worth it! Here are five tips to help you become a better speaker.
1- Appearance counts
The audience requires a good outward appearance. Of course, a boring speech cannot be saved with beautiful clothing, that is clear. However, poor visuals can undermine your credibility with the audience, even before you have even said a word! As the speaker, it is up to you how you reach the audience. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is non-verbal? Only 7 percent is transported through the content. Be confident and yet natural.
2- A language that is easy to understand
Mumbling, high-pitched voices, speaking too softly – all of this must be avoided. Just as a runner would never start a marathon untrained and without a warm-up, a good speaker would never take the stage untrained and without a warmed-up voice. Vary the volume, pitch and speaking speed. What is important is emphasized, perhaps louder or slower than what is irrelevant. Always stay natural and pay attention to a good pronunciation and an easily understandable, accurate expression: Avoid box sentences, better short sentences.
3- Have the goal in mind
What do you want to achieve with your presentation? Try to summarize your goal in a sentence or two. Then build your talk around that goal. At the end of each lecture, the audience should take something home with them, be it knowledge or motivation. The topic must always be present throughout the lecture – the audience should always know what it is about. Better to talk about less information than to talk about the main points.
4- Listeners love storytelling
Take your audience on a journey of thought – this is called “storytelling” in modern German. Children and adults alike love stories. The audience often gets more stuck with it than if you bore them with one fact after the other. Note: With a story (whether told at the beginning or in the middle) you keep the attention of your audience and keep your audience in a good mood.
5- Good preparation is essential
Those who are well prepared stand behind what they say, sound convincing, do not run the risk of forgetting important points and have less stage fright, which in turn has a positive effect on the quality of the presentation. A word of caution: Please do not memorize the entire lecture sentence by sentence; Bullet points are better because they allow you to speak freely and react spontaneously to the audience. Practice your speech aloud several times, especially the introduction and the ending. Stop the time while doing this.
If you follow these tips, your next speech is sure to be a success!
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