CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – DECEMBER 21, 2021-2
Important Public Speaking Skills for Workplace Success
Engaging Presentation Style
Presentation style includes vocal tone, body language, facial expression, and timing. The right style can make a talk that could have been boring become exciting and engaging.
Assessing the Needs of the Audience
Some audiences want a lot of technical detail; others don’t. Some will enjoy humor; others won’t. There are jokes that work in some crowds but not others. To draft a successful talk and to adopt the appropriate presentation style, you need to be able to assess the needs of your audience.
Before you begin speaking, think about your audience and what they hope to gain from your presentation. That can help you assess their needs, which can help ensure that your presentation is the best possible use of your time and theirs.
PowerPoint is a popular software used for creating slides. Not all public speakers use them, but slides are so common that doing without them is sometimes called “speaking naked.”
It’s not only important to understand the technical aspects of using the software, it also helps if you have the artistic ability to create slides that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand—or, you should work with a collaborator who can do so. Either way, you must know how to integrate your slides smoothly into the other aspects of your presentations.
Whether you prepare your talk ahead of time or just go with the flow, you must be able to construct talks that are rational, coherent, and easy to understand, and that cover all the points you want to hit.
Storytelling and humor help, and you must know how to use them. Public speaking is not only a form of performance art; it also requires writing skills.
Other Public Speaking Skills
The skills mentioned above aren’t the only ones that are important to public speaking. The following skills and tips can make you an even more effective public speaker:
- Controlling performance anxiety
- Drafting an evaluation form that attendees are likely to complete
- Grabbing the attention of the audience with a powerful opening
- Handing out copies of slides in advance to minimize note-taking demands on the audience
- Maintaining eye contact with the audience and providing an energetic, animated physical presence
- Memorizing enough content so that the speech does not come off as a reading of notes
- Modulating vocal tone to emphasize important points and avoid monotonous presentation
- Organizing a logical flow to a speech
- Preparing examples that are relevant to the experience of the expected audience
- Providing compelling evidence to support themes
- Rehearsing the presentation and revising rough spots
- Researching information about the latest trends in an industry before presenting at a professional seminar
- Restating critical points at the end of a speech to cement key concepts
- Reviewing feedback and modifying the approach for talks in the future
- Summarizing the topics to be covered at the beginning of a lecture to provide context for attendees