Public speaking is a good way of expressing your views at meetings, special events and other gatherings. It is also an important skill if you want to get your message across one-to-one. Here are a few tips to help you master public speaking!
Preparation is key
If you are going to deliver a set speech at an event or meeting, it is really important prepare! Don't just say the first thing that comes into your head as you are unlikely to be taken seriously. Make sure you do the necessary research, and keep it fairly brief so you do not bore your audience (20 minutes is generally enough). It is also worth knowing a little bit about your audience so that you tailor your speech to their interests or concerns. Then use the following tips on structure and content.
If it is your event, thank people for coming.
- Introduce yourself (give your name, age, group name and school if applicable).
- Introduce the issue that you are going to discuss.
- Try to grab your audience's attention straight away with a dramatic fact, statistic or a real-life story.
- Give a very brief outline of what your speech will cover and why the issue is important to you.
Clearly describe the issue including facts and stories
- Make your content as concise and lively as you can, including examples involving real people.
- Include vital facts from your research illustrating your main points.
- Say what you think should be done about the issue and what you and/or your group are trying to do.
- Say what you think the impact of these actions will be – and what the consequences are of not taking action.
Give your audience a call to action
- Sum up your main points.
- Explain how members of the audience can get involved.
- Allow time for questions from the audience.
- Thank people for listening.
If possible, memorize your speech. This will make it seem more spontaneous and allow you to make eye contact. Make a list of your main points to help you if you get stuck. While speaking, try to relax and not fidget. Speak slowly, loudly and clearly.
The tips above are also relevant when you are taking part in a discussion at a meeting or other event.
Feeling ready to master public speaking? Now read about how to plan great events and how to use them to promote your cause!
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