4 Tips for Skillful Public Speaking

microphone-barbara mckinzieMany face public speaking with an air of fear in their stomach. However, there are several ways to overcome that feeling and attack the art masterfully. Perhaps it is refreshing to know that this subject has been discussed all throughout history.

In ancient Greece, individuals believed in the power of persuasion and public speaking. Philosopher, Aristotle identified three components of communication that if followed correctly would make for the most powerful method of conveying ideas. He highlighted Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos involves gaining the respect of the listeners, Pathos is the appeal to the listeners’ emotions, and Logos includes the facts used to convey a message. There are more tips that will make a public speech powerful.

Prepare

A speech that comes across as spontaneous can take the most prep time. Winston Churchill and Mark Twain both acknowledge that practice is a valuable component of effective speaking. Churchill went as far as executing 45 hours of preparing for a speech that was meant to be 45 minutes long.

The Big Idea

Within the first few moments of being on stage, it is important for the speaker to get to the main point of their presentation. Some of the top TED talks all employ the same method. It is similar to an unforgettable song that has a recognition worthy hook. Give the audience something that they can take with them.

Artful Pause

Taking a moment of silence before beginning is a method of gaining the audience’s attention. Napoleon Bonaparte was known for doing this with his troops. This strategy adds weight to the words about to be said and can also be found in negotiation meetings or sales pitches.

Be Authentic

Use casual wording and a tone that would appeal to those in a barbershop, for example, even if you are on stage delivering a speech. Ronald Reagan explored this approach during his years as a radio broadcaster. To better reach his listeners, he didn’t want to think of them as random individuals. He spoke as if he were building camaraderie at his local barber. This type of banter is more relatable.

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