CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – OCTOBER 12, 2020 (PT.1)
Public speaking tips #1: Research your topic
Researching what you are going to talk about is not one of the most exciting public speaking tips to begin with, but it is an important one. Your presentation could be a disaster if you (or your personality) don’t fall into the following categories:
• You ooze self-confidence and love being the center of attention. It doesn’t matter what you speak about, you just relish the opportunity to be on stage. Even if you messed up, you wouldn’t notice because you possess a hardened exterior called arrogance.
• You have developed and mastered your presentation character/role. This allows you to think on your feet and you seamlessly move from one topic to another. You could wax lyrical about anything
• You are an expert in your field and can talk for hours because you are qualified and knowledgeable.
• All of the above!
If you are new to public speaking, given time you can become one or all of the above. In the meantime, research your subject until it you have enough content to play with.
Public speaking tips #2: Keep your presentation relevant to your aim
What’s that, you don’t have an aim? Then how will you know what is relevant? Ok, so this is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. This really does depend on whether you have been given a presentation with strict criteria to follow or an open-ended title in which you are required to make the decision for yourself.
If you have been given the criteria to follow, keep reminding yourself of the meaning behind the criteria. Keep using this in every stage of the process because there’s nothing worse than talking about something that is a million miles away from the title. It is also important to identify any marking structure. The higher the marks allocated to a topic, the more likely you are to devote your time to these topics.
If the title is open-ended e.g. Pop music, then give your presentation a direction (your aim) such as “number one hits by (a certain) pop group”. You simply can’t cover every fact in a short presentation.
Give a statement of your aim at the beginning with possible subheadings. These can include a few ground rules e.g. asking questions at the end rather than throughout the presentation. You may even give a statement of what you “won’t” present because of certain limitations e.g. time.
Factors that can influence your aim include:
• Temporal factors: Such as the time you have to prepare (and take into account other obligation), the duration of the presentation or your other obligations that might intrude on this project.
• Situational factors: This can include the availability of resources e.g. microphone and lectern, the layout of the room and the size of your audience.
• Personal factors: Such as your subject-knowledge, confidence, voice projection, use of non-verbal gestures etc.
The more you know about these factors, the more you can shape the precise intentions of your aim.