Public Speaking

Public Speaking

So you are all set to enhance your Public Speaking skills. Awesome!
Great Public Speaking skills can enhance your career and reputation, create opportunities and boost your self confidence. On the other hand poor public speaking skills can close doors of
opportunity. Consider the following tips when improving your Public Speaking skills:

1. Plan appropriately
Research, research and then research some more on the speech that you plan to give and the target audience. Sequence properly the thoughts that you plan to pass across to your audience.
Ensure that you have a captivating way to capture your audience at the beginning. This can be done in several ways; For example one can provide statistics, a compelling story related to
the overall theme of the speech. Ensure that the room where the presentation will be made and its ambience is a good choice for your presentation, address issues such as lighting, fresh
air, presentation aids such as projecters and visual aids are all available.

2.Practice in front of others as practice makes perfect
This can be on a live or a virtual audience that may give you tips on how to enhance your public speaking skills. Groups like Toastmasters are global and there are local chapters in our
very own Kenya to enhance ones Public Speaking skills. I sometimes use my family as guinea pigs before making a presentation and value the feedback received from them.

3.Interact with your audience
Let the speech be more of a dialogue as opposed to a monologue. Ask the audience questions to seek their opinion as you go along with the speech. Give them opportunities to seek clarity
from you as you go along with your speech. Maintain eye contact and avoid reading word for word speeches but instead have pointers written down or in simple Powerpoint form to boost
your delivery.

4.Body language is as equally important as what you want to say.
Have a warm engaging smile with your audience. Have an upright and confident posture. Maintain eye contact with the audience.Walk around and engage with your audience. Use gestures to pass the message across. However, misuse of gestures can affect the delivery of your speech and distract your audience's attention.

5. Butterflies in my stomach feeling
It is natural to feel nervous before making a presentation. In fact a little bit of nervousness is deemed good for delivery. However, if your nervousness is hindering the good delivery of
ones speech, you should focus on the message that you want to pass across and the benefit it will have to your audience. Focus on a familiar friendly face that will boost your confidence.

6. Don't forget to dress the part.
Good grooming and excellent choice of wardrobe will enhance your presentation.

7.Think positively and have fun, that is enjoy yourself when making your speech.
I try to make positive affirmations on the success of my speech days before up to minutes before the presentation.

8. Watch recordings of your speech to boost future speeches. Give yourself a pat on the back
where you went right, critic yourself for better presentations in future. Now sometimes one may not have the time to prepare for a speech and one may be called abruptly to make what is called an "impromptu speech", to ensure that one makes a compelling impromptu speech one should be well versed in information that one wants to pass across. We are advised to say what we are going to say, say it, and again say what we wanted to say. In other words, a good speech should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

Finally, celebrate and reward yourself on a good presentation. Sadly, I cannot give you tips on this as only you yourself knows what makes you happy!!! On a light note. All the best in your Public Speaking – future presentations and speeches that is.

Thank you for reading this article.
Kwambie Nyambane,
Inspirational and wellness writer,
April 2017 on Public Speaking