“Being a good speaker requires planning, clarity of thought and a well constructed beginning, middle, and end to your speech.”
It is important to avoid creating confusion or leaving your listeners feeling that you have wasted their time. Read below the jump for a proper set of instructions on learning how to be a good speaker.
1. Make eye contact. Eye contact is very important. You can look above the people’s head because it looks like you’re looking right at them, but you’re really not! Don’t overdo it or you’ll risk looking like you’re nodding your head or you can appear stiff. It is also a good idea to make eye contact with different people. Do not stare that the same person throughout your speech, this would make them feel uncomfortable. You could try looking to the left, the center of the room, and the right of the room.
2. Have a point and stick to it. In some settings you must speak on a certain subject. Even in casual conversation, though, it is important to focus on a limited set of related ideas. If you drift from one tangentially related idea to the next your speech becomes a sort of bad poetry or misplaced filibuster that may quickly bore the listener.
3. Speak clearly. It may be tempting to say, “El whooziwhatsit fonctionne bien in thinger teh other day.” It may also not be worth the listener’s time to try to figure out what you mean.
4. Adjust your speech for your audience. A technical audience will appreciate your use of jargon and acronyms. If your audience has trouble grasping the concepts you are relating, it may be necessary to speak slowly and offer generally familiar examples. Still, make sure not to sound as if you are explaining the concepts to a class of kindergarteners.
5. Don’t use one tone the entire speech. It makes you sound very dry, dull, and boring as a speaker and personality wise. It makes you a much better speaker when you raise your voice a bit here and there. Make it sort of like a debate almost, and it’s on something you really care for that’s really important! Study Martin Luther King. He is one of the most well-known speakers in history. His tone goes up and down.
6. Don’t patronize. When people are treated like they’re idiots or little children, they may become hostile and ignore what you’re saying. You sound patronizing when you use sing-song tones in your speech or sigh loudly, or if you belittle the listeners in any way.
7. Be interesting.
8. Speak up. People have to hear what you are saying even if they are sitting in the back row or there is a lot of noise.
9. Be honest. Remember the story of the boy who cried, “Wolf!”
10. Organize what you’re saying especially in long speeches. If possible, introduce the topic at the beginning of the paragraph-but make sure it’s an original beginning each time!. If there are several ideas or details related to your main point, speak about each one in a deliberate fashion. If you are trying to convey large amounts of information, you may need to outline what you will say at the outset and then summarize what you’ve said at the conclusion.
11. Be polite, follow social conventions and be rational. Obviously there are many speakers that do not follow this step and yet have large and doting audiences. You probably aren’t one of those speakers.
12. Use your hands! Nothing is worse than a speaker with his hands in his pocket or his hands just sitting by his side.
13. Watch some videos of great speakers: Martin Luther King , John F. Kennedy (JFK).
1. Avoid monotony. Monotony is really a form of disorganization where the important information is not distinguished in any way from the unimportant information.
2. Stuttering is normal, and most people do it. Your brain back tracks itself, because you’re very nervous, and blood rushes to the brain. You’re thinking too hard. Just relax, and go with the flow. If you do stutter, just stop for a second, and keep going.
3. Act quite casual. Relax and take it easy!
4. If making a presentation, try not to go first or last. First is hardest, because you set the tone, but if you think you’re going set it high. Go for it.
5. Be sure to thank your audience at the end.
6. Pretend they feel how you feel. No one really cares when you talk unless it’s a big debate!
7. Speak about a topic that you feel passionately and knowledgeable about. It will show when you speak.
8. Politicians follow many if not all of these steps and you may want to emulate them.
9. Use hand gestures, but don’t overdo it flying your arms all over the place. Just occasionally move your hands.
10. Try to avoid overuse of “Umm”. It makes you sound like you do not know what to talk about and it breaks up the continuity of the speech.
1. It is easy to get carried away when you speak up. If you find yourself yelling a lot or using all-caps text frequently, it is likely you are skipping many of the other steps listed.
2. It is also easy to get carried away when you’re being important. If you neglect many of the other steps and rely on your importance to command the audience’s attention, the audience may become resentful. The audience may even work to undermine your authority.
3. The worst speaker is the bore. Don’t be a bore! Typically the bore fails at being interesting and overestimates the attention span of his audience.
4. Using incendiary language and making analogies to WWII situations and figures (especially Hitler, fascism, communism and Stalin) usually causes people to focus on the individual offensive statement or the character of your speech rather than the content of the speech.