Anyone contemplating making a speech who isn’t a professional speaker will, inevitably, want to pick up as many tips on public speaking that they can. And they will want those tips to convey some kind of ‘magic formula’ that will enable them to deliver a speech that is witty, to the point and delivered effortlessly with confidence and panache!
The reality, however, is frequently somewhat different.
No matter how much effort might go into preparing your speech, three common but mistaken assumptions are likely to creep in, making your task all the more difficult.
That your audience are hostile towards you and that you need to be able to win their approval before your speech can be successful.
In fact, quite the opposite is frequently the case. Consider this:- your audience actually wants you to make a great speech! Our human nature is such that our natural empathy with another person means that we will feel that person’s embarrassment and discomfort when we see it. If you are experiencing nervousness or unease on stage, then your audience will be sharing in that experience too.
No audience wants to feel bad on your behalf, so instead of being hostile towards you, they are actually willing you to make a really good and confident speech.
That the most important tip on public speaking is that you definitely need to include lots of jokes or anecdotes in every speech in order for it to be entertaining.
Wrong – although this supposed pearl of wisdom will appear on just about every list of public speaking tips you might uncover. The success of a speech certainly does not depend on it being peppered with jokes and stories.
After all, not everyone feels comfortable telling jokes and stories and most of us have the greatest difficulty in even remembering a punchline, let alone be able to deliver it with perfect timing! Why then, should you be required to make delivering your speech even more stressful than it already is by having to shoehorn in jokes just because some tips list says you should?
That you need to show that you are an expert on the subject you are speaking about or your audience will see you for the fraud that you are and heckle and boo you.
Again, this is a common held belief and an entirely misplaced one. In fact, you really don’t need to know anything in depth about your topic in order to deliver a cracking and satisfying speech.
What you do need to know, however, is how to go about researching your topic in order to discover the best and most relevant material to deliver to your audience. If you can get this right – and it is just a matter of learning the correct research technique – you will be able to put together a speech on any topic, for any audience easily and successfully, time after time.
So, before you set off on your search for a list of ‘magic’ tips on public speaking, ditch these three, completely misleading speech-making assumptions.
Keep in mind that your audience isn’t automatically hostile towards you – they are willing you to do well and deliver the best and most satisfying speech they have heard in a long while. After all, they want to leave the auditorium feeling good about themselves – not bad.
Secondly, nowhere does it say that you absolutely must include jokes and anecdotes in your speech. Unless you feel comfortable telling funny stories and can recall punchlines with ease, don’t put yourself under additional pressure to be a comedian as well as a speech-maker.
And finally, don’t struggle in the belief that you must be an expert on the subject you are speaking about. Your only duty is to deliver your speech well and in doing so, your audience will unquestioningly accept that you are well versed in your subject. This can be achieved by thorough and focussed preparation and research before starting to construct your speech – a much more achievable task than attaining true, expert status, wouldn’t you agree?
So, when looking for tips on public speaking, first rid yourself of these three, common misconceptions and you will have already made good headway towards your goal of delivering a successful, entertaining and informative speech for your audience.
Author: Jane K.ThomasThis author has published 3 articles so far.