Some people find public speaking a stressful affair, while others seem to thrive on having an audience and whether you are an introvert or extrovert, there are things that you can do to improve your keynote speaking talents. We spoke with a leading public speaking coach and asked for a few tips and here is the best of their advice.
- Get to know your audience– By that we mean do some research about who they are and what they are about; what is your goal and does that match with the audience needs? You are more confident when you walk into the room and you know a lot about your audience; if you would like some help on how to be a good keynote speaker, you can learn from the very best.
- Practice makes perfect – This applies to everything we do and rehearsing twice on your own is a great way to warm up for the real thing. When you are very well versed with the content, this boosts your self-confidence, while helping you develop fluency and knowing when to pause for maximum impact. Your colleague would be happy to listen while at lunch, or you could ask your partner to listen to your presentation the evening before the event.
- Make a connection with your audience– A personal anecdote is a great way to forge a connection with your audience; as soon as you are on stage, introduce yourself with a short story, one that everyone can relate to and this will help you to have a good connection with your audience.
- Eye contact – To be effective, you have to make eye contact with people in different locations, use the stage to your advantage; spend a few minutes on the stage before the event begins to familarise yourself with the size and the location of the screen. If you want the best results, why not approach a public speaking coach? A Google search will put you in touch with such a professional and after a needs assessment, they can teach you a few techniques to improve your keynote speaking.
- Video your presentations– Whenever you perform a keynote speech, ask a colleague to video and when you have time, watch closely, taking note of where you are standing, how you are making eye contact and your general manner. If you have any personal quirks like touching your hair or playing with your hands, you can take steps to correct them. People are never comfortable watching themselves on the screen, but you should resist the temptation to stop the video and be objective in your observations. Whether you are a federal government employee or you work in the private sector, regular observation will make you a better speaker.
We all feel a little uncomfortable when it’s our turn on the stage and if you would like some professional help with your public speaking, Google can help you connect with a keynote speaker coach. These are life skills that will remain with you for the rest of your life, helping you on your career path with regular promotions.