The difference between the ranked beginner and the polished public speaker is what they know, and how they apply what they know. To ensure that you remain ‘in the know’, here are 7 things that you could start doing to boost your public speaking performance.

1. Control your nerves – stage fright visits even the most seasoned public speaker from time to time, particularly when one is asked to make a presentation to a difficult or notable audience. Learn some tips on how to manage your nerves and deliver great speeches even when you feel the fear and anxiety. In my eBook, Speak For Your SUCCESS! I give some useful tools on how to keep your nerves in check.

2. Plan ahead – we all know that old Chinese adage, ‘A failure to plan is a plan to fail’. And without a doubt, this principle rings true when it comes to public speaking. When planning you need to consider: 1) What objectives you are trying to achieve? 2) What content should be included or omitted? 3) How best can you relate to the audience and keep their attention? 4) How will you manage your time effectively? 5) Will visual aids enhance or weaken your presentation? 6) What questions are you audience most likely to ask? And finally, 7) What analogies, metaphors or stories can I draw from to make my presentation more interesting to listen to?

3. Use your body – if you’ve ever been an audience member and observed a great public speaker you will likely remember that what grabbed your attention was not the mere words that the speaker presented, but the whole ‘performance’ of the speaker. The facial expressions, gestures, and voice delivery. In the same way, you need to think about your body language and how it will be received by the audience. Read a good book on body language and practice being dynamic.

4. Understand your audience – before any speaking engagement, always, always, do some background research on your audience. Where are they coming from? Are there any cultural things you need to observe? Work out what you need to do to make your audience as comfortable and engaged as possible. You may need to pitch your presentation differently to a room full of women than a room full of men, or you may need to be more formal in some cases and less so for some audiences. The more you know about your audience and adapt your presentation accordingly, the more engaged your listeners will be.

5. Be vivid when delivering the message – the most memorable speeches and presentations are those which are conveyed with flare and imagination. People want more than t here information thrown at them. People want an experience. And once you satisfy their need for quality information, above your listeners will want to be entertained. To make your public speaking more colourful, include anecdotes, metaphors, and analogies. Inserting these into your speech will help to bring your presentation to life.

6. Rehearse your presentation – once you’ve taking the time out to plan your presentation carefully, make it lively and vivid, and have researched your audience; the next and potentially the post crucial step is to practice, practice, practice! The more you rehearse you speech, the more familiar you become with what you are going to say and how best to say it. This strategy drives a knife through the heart of performance hindering nerves because familiarity breeds confidence. A sure-fire way to avoid mental block and inspire your very best delivery.

7. Manage questions – when delivering a public speech or presentation, it is always a good idea to take some thought for what kind of questions are likely to come up. What’s the point of delivering an ace presentation only to be caught off guard during a Q&A session at the end of it? A needless anticlimax, I’m sure you’ll agree. Any difficult questions can be handled with prowess if you have already anticipated them and prepared an appropriate answer beforehand. You’ll look totally in control, like a true Public Speaking Pro!

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speak For Your SUCCESS!, Anneesh has trained many novices in the speaking field, turning them into, confident, impressive and influential speakers. As an entrepreneur, radio presenter, and sought after personal success trainer, Anneesh has personally taken her public speaking skills from good to great, with her proven strategies and techniques. Now that she's conquered the public speaking giant, her passion is to see you defeat him too! Her motto is, "The more you speak the more you get paid. The better you speak the higher the wage!"

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