Although many people may either love or hate public speaking, it’s a skill that anyone can improve. Whether you relish the opportunity to attract the eyes and ears of everyone in the room or not, there are many ways to enhance how you deliver speeches and presentations.
Throughout the years, expert speechwriters and orators have focused on a select few key principles of public speaking that guarantee better tone and delivery. Here are tried and tested principles you should always keep in mind when delivering your next speech or presentation.
It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It
Most famous speeches in history wouldn’t be anywhere near as significant if it weren’t for the charisma of the individual delivering the speech. Imagine some of the most memorable and influential speeches in history delivered in a monotone, stuttering, and quiet voice. Clearly, regardless of the substance of the speech, it is very unlikely to attract the right kind of attention.
You must realize that half the battle of effective public speaking is how you deliver your message, such as your tone. Many speeches by world leaders are sprinkled with oratory techniques that dictate their tone, cadence, and tempo throughout their delivery.
In one sense, you can think of speaking as a performance. Nobody wants to listen to a dull and sluggish speech. If anything, you should focus on making your delivery as dynamic and memorable as possible before considering the actual substance of the message you’re trying to convey.
Fight Perfectionism and Forget Mistakes
You’ll notice that many of the world’s most famous speakers do not memorize their speeches word for word, nor do they deliver the same address every time. One key characteristic of high-quality orators is the fact that they often use dot points and cues rather than speeches memorized word for word.
Perfectionism regarding saying every single word in the right order when presenting will almost always lead to mistakes. It’s widely agreed upon that it’s much easier to memorize critical ideas and cues rather than memorize a two thousand word speech.
Whether you memorize the entire speech or use key points to direct your presentation, there will always be mistakes. However, errors can easily be brushed off as totally insignificant if you use the right tactics.
The biggest mistake an orator can make is to dwell on a mistake they’ve made, which attracts even more attention to their mishaps. Many times, if your delivery is confident and robust, nobody will even notice that you’ve made a small mistake.
It’s only when you obviously indicate via actions such as trying to rephrase what you’ve already said, that the audience finally catches on to your blunder. Always continue with the speech as if the error never happened, if you do so elegantly and confidently, you might realize that the listeners never noticed in the first place.
Combining key principles of public speaking such as avoiding perfectionism and confidently dealing with mistakes, your delivery will improve substantially. Without having to worry about saying the right word during every single moment of your presentation, you’ll have a lot more wiggle room to convey your message without restraint.
You might find that you can spread your message better in the moment than what you had written down earlier. Further, ignoring small mistakes by continuing your delivery with conviction and dynamism will always lead to a better reception among your audience.