When people think of a good orator, the image that comes to mind is a person with a silver tongue. This is a person who keeps your ears focused, eyes mesmerized and toes on edge whenever they are on the podium.
It is the image of a person who commands attention simply by rising up to speak even when they have not uttered a single word. Are you looking to become a great orator? It all starts with honing your oratory skills. We will discuss some of the simplest yet most effective tips on how you can become a captivating public speaker.
In order to captivate your audience, you have to be able to anticipate their needs and give them exactly what they are expecting. The best way to do this to always be ready when stepping out to speak to people. Remember that perfection and proficiency is best achieved through preparation and practice.
Some of the things that you should do when preparing to speak include:
Research your audience before getting on stage. Understand what they are most likely to respond to when speaking. Add interesting bits that will keep your audience wanting to hear what you have to say next. When speaking in front of people, remember that its all about the listeners and as such, craft your message in such a way that it resonates with them.
When speaking, organize your ideas so that you are easy to understand and your message comes out concisely.
Great orators speak directly to the audience. As such, memorize most of the things that you want to say to your audience. This will allow you to pay more attention to your audience when speaking. Ensure that you are looking at your audience when speaking and that you divide attention across your entire audience to make everybody feel involved.
Even the best orators’ practice in front of a ‘ghost audience’ before actually stepping on stage! Before stepping on stage, practice what you are going to say a few times. If you cannot find a practice audience, do it in front of the mirror. It may look silly but in retrospect, it will prove highly beneficial when you step on stage.
It is Normal to Feel Jittery
It is normal to have jitters when getting on a stage to speak to an audience. What sets great orators apart is that they know how to control the jitters when they eventually step out before the audience. If you have jitters before speaking, consider trying some relaxing techniques such as taking deep calming breaths.
Use Audio and Visual Cues
To improve your public speaking skills, try and incorporate audio and visual cues as much as possible when speaking. This means that you should change the tone of your voice to match the points that you are putting across.
Nothing makes a speaker more boring than monotony. To make your talk livelier, engaging and captivating, move around the stage and use gestures. Keep in mind that the best orators do not just speak, they perform.
Learn from the Best Orators
One unbeatable way to hone your oratory skills is to learn from the best. Before speaking in front of an audience, watch videos and listen to some of the best orators. Identify the main reasons why you think your chosen orator has great public speaking skills and try to emulate them on stage.
It is, however, important to remember that even the best orators were not born good at public speaking. In most cases, true proficiency comes through a lot of practice.