Occasionally, young speakers ask me for advice on public speaking.
I love it when they do, not because I’m flattered to be asked (although perhaps I am), but because the art of public speaking is a noble one and if I can contribute positively to anyone who has the courage to stand in front of a group of people, then I’m happy to help.
The following is a random list of suggestions that I’ve given over the years. I hope that they’re helpful and relevant for people of all ages:
- Take advantage of every opportunity to speak
- Read more
- Spend 99% of your preparation time on the content of your message and 1% on the fancy PowerPoint slides
- Learn to speak without reading your notes
- Learn to speak without any notes at all
- Tell stories
- Be yourself
- Watch TED talks regularly to learn from the best
- Never say anything from a stage that you haven’t rehearsed in private
- Learn how to use your voice, hands and body to assist you in delivering your message congruently
- Treat every audience with respect, whether there are 10 or 1000 people
- Don’t be afraid to leave great stories, jokes or anecdotes on the cutting room floor if they don’t fit your subject. You can always use them another time.
- Leave them wanting more
- Don’t forget to breathe
Do you have any other public speaking tips that you would like to share?
Previous post – Kids Still Love Board Games