It’s much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic.
Figure out what’s important to you about your message and
speak from the heart.
When you are attending a speaking event, try listening to other expert speakers as much as possible, as they may be able to provide you with useful tips and information while you hear them speak. If you are not the first speaker on a roster, this can also help you eliminate some annoying (for your audience) redundancy and add more emphasis is some areas when it is finally time for you to speak in front of the audience.
In addition to listening to the other speakers, try to listen to the audience as well. By knowing the audience a bit better, a speaker can have a clearer idea about what they are really wanting to know, and what the audience may not be interested in hearing more about. Here are some tips that you can be accomplished before making your own big speech.
1. Mingle. Whenever possible, go into the entrance hall and try to mingle with the audience as they arrive. Greeting them will help decrease your anxiety and tension, and putting a smile on their faces at the beginning will help you as your speech begins.
2. Visit, or walk around the space before your speech. Get a feel for the room. Being familiar with the people and the space can be helpful in knowing the audience type better.
3. No apologies. Remember that people came there to listen, may have paid in advanced, blocked their schedules ahead of time, and the very last thing that the listeners want to hear is a speaker giving apologies.
4. Do your homework. Knowing who you are delivering the speech to and the place where these people came from will definitely give ideas on how to properly talk to them.
5. Learn to study facial expressions. The audience members may not be saying anything aloud, but their actions and the way they tense their muscles will definitely give you some clues as to whether you were not understood, or that they have questions about something that was earlier spoken. If this happens, open the floor up for questions. Begin the process by raising your own hand to invite other people to offer their questions.
6. Engage the audience. The audience certainly hopes that a speaker will be interesting, informative, and a little entertaining. If they have questions, be sure that you completely understand it, repeat it for the remainder of the audience, and answer them in the most informative way possible. If it is a sensitive topic, then your mood, tone and answer should reflect that. If it is a little lighter topic, icebreakers and banter go a long way in helping relax the audience.
For instance, I speak on a variety of topics. Leadership, health, sexual assault, bible study. Your tone and demeanor must match your subject matter band your audience.
7. Stop. A good speaker must know when to halt during the speech. Practicing the speech at home by using a timer will help you eliminate unnecessary words or phrases. You seek a middle ground with the kinds of words you use. The unimportant words can be removed since these will only either bore, or distract the audience’s attention.
Listen to other speakers and learn. Know your topic. Know your audience and venue. Be your best self. Know when to stop.