Akash, founder of Communication Skills Tips: What does it really take to be great at public speaking? What are the qualities of a great public speaker? And more importantly, how can you become a powerful and persuasive speaker? In this article, speaker, trainer and public speaking coach Alex Glod shares with you five tips to take you from being a good speaker to being a great one.
Enter Alex Glod (speaker, public speaking coach and trainer):
Greeks Were Great Public Speakers
Back in the old Greek times, public speaking was not just a skill, it was a profession. People would stand in awe to listen to the great public speakers of those times and there was a really strong competition among them. They would all look to constantly improve their speaking skills, to come up with new stories and to give a great speech every time they spoke.
We Need to Improve Our Public Speaking Skills
Nowadays, many speakers simply come on stage and just talk. There’s no speaking anymore. It’s a boring monologue with which the audience has no connection.
Well, let me tell you something, audiences today are not going to stand that anymore. We demand a bit of respect as your audience. Or we are just going to leave your room empty. That’s right, we will simply leave you there alone in your fancy suit and sneaky grin.
How to be a Great Public Speaker
You want us to listen to what you have to say? Here’s what you have to do:
1. Be an Authentic Speaker
We are not interested in your years of experience, your company’s numbers in term of profit and clients and your amazing portfolio. We want to know who YOU are.
Yes, YOU! Where do you come from? How did you grow up? What are your values? What are your fears? What are your dreams?
Lay it out for us. Let us know who you are. We are looking for genuine connection and if you start it off like that, you will win us for the first half of the speech.
Pay attention at how much she makes references to herself and how she frankly speaks about her nervous breakdown. Also her talk about vulnerability showcases how important vulnerability and authenticity are vital for connection.
2. Look us in the Eyes
Look at me when you’re speaking to me. Show me that you know that I’m here, acknowledge my presence, speak to me, and offer your undivided attention to me. Not your speech, not the walls, not the floor. ME. Remember, the world revolves around me. Me. Me. Me! Show us that you care about us and that your interest is in us, not your words. The point of a speech is not the speech itself; it is the experience of the audience.
3. Tell us a story
Preferably, a story about you and how you connect with the topic at hand. Stories from books are fine and all, but we kind of know them all. What we don’t know is your story, your connection with the topic. Why is this so important to you? How did this piece of information influence your life? What good or bad did it bring? Theories are great. We like theories. But what we love are proven theories, proven not only by argument, but by personal example. So tell us a story and make a point.
4. Put on a show
Don’t just sit there and talk. Wake us up. Make our emotions stir inside of us. Keep us in suspense. Blow our minds. Have us wanting for more. More than ever, we want to live. We want to live intensively. So, help us fulfill that need. Take us out of the comfort zone, challenge us and take us to places we have never been before. You will not only win our undivided attention, you will win our hearts. And we would love to come back next time and hear more of what you have to say. It doesn’t matter if it’s about advanced electro-mechanics and I’m a sociology student, I will come to hear you speak again.
5. Speak from the body
We are not talking of the usual body language mumbo-jumbo. Strategically refine your every body movement so that it sustains the point that you are proving. Draw and create with your arms. Take us dancing with your feet. Make us smile with your smile.
If you will hold a speech in the near future, please take a second to reflect on your audience first. Think of the day they went through before coming to your speech. Give them something that will change their state, their emotions, and their views about the world. Make them leave from your speech as totally different individuals.
Wrap Up: Becoming Great at Public Speaking
So if you want to become a good public speaker – no, a great public speaker:
- Be authentic
- Make eye contact when you speak
- Share a story
- Put on a show
- Speak from the body
What do You Look for in a Public Speaker?
And from your side, I would like to know: What are you expecting from a speech? What are you eagerly looking for in a public speaker? Leave your thoughts in the comments box below.
About Public Speaking Coach Alex Glod
My name is Alex Glod and I’m an independent coach, host, speaker and writer on personal development. I aim to use myself and my life experience to serve you as best as possible. As a coach, working close together to making things happen. As a host or trainer, opening group processes of self-discovery and self-expression. As a speaker, engaging you and audiences to take action. As a writer, sharing with you my beliefs and my life experiences.
Alex’s Four Day Public Speaking Course
Special announcement by Alex: This summer, I will be hosting a group of awesome individuals in a 4-day process of becoming AWESOME public speakers. Between the 11th and the 14th of July, we will take your public speaking skills to a whole new level, together with a powerful group of like-minded individuals. Warning! This is not your average conference! Check out the presentation for awesome public speaking here: http://slidesha.re/10VtgVR