Giving a speech can seem like a simple, essential part of business life; however the most confident public speakers can still feel uneasy when faced with a room full of strangers. As a leader in your field, you can almost guarantee that at some point in your career, you will need to perform a presentation, speak to a group or address a large audience.  The difference between a dull, boring speech and an entertaining, impacting one heavily relies on your delivery and presentation skills. Incorporating these seven simple techniques into your speech can transform it from mediocre to memorable and ensures that you will gain a reputation as an effective and influential public speaker.

  1. Always have a clear goal.
    The structure of a speech is instrumental in getting the point across to an audience who may or may not be receptive to what you have to say. You cannot convey a point or idea if you don’t know where you’re going in your presentation. The best idea is to summarise the goal of your speech into one declarative sentence and then repeat this several times throughout, this links the topics together and ensures people will leave firmly understanding your message.
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice
    The best way to avoid drawing a blank in front of everyone and avoid stage fright is by preparing your speech early so that you have time to practice. Once your date is set, you need to start preparing. When you practice your speech, brainstorm to establish your topic and target audience, that way you’ll have a better delivery and response from your audience. Don’t leave organising your PowerPoint or multimedia tools to the last minute, it is vital that you incorporate these into your speech as soon as possible. This allows you to become familiar with their place in the presentation, so you’re not distracted during the talk.
  3. Use anecdotes to engage the audience
    You can connect with your audience more effectively when you incorporate relatable or personal stories into your presentation. If your presentation is not engaging you’ll lose your audience, often the best stories can come from ordinary occurrences. This is also a useful tool to help you remember your speech, as you are more familiar with the information. Not only will including anecdotes make your speech more entertaining but they will also convey your messages more effectively.
  4. Get your audience involved
    To connect with your audience better, consider different ways to encourage participation. An engaged audience means that, even if you fumble, your presentation will still be effective as the audience will laugh along with you until you recover. Sometimes, it’s not about what you say, but how you say it and laughter is a great way to diffuse a “not-so-stellar” moment. Asking your audience members questions, is another great way to engage with them and get them involved.
  5. Be on time
    It is important to show up early for your speech, so as not to fluster yourself before the event. It’s best to allow yourself adequate time to in order to prepare, set up and have a quick run through so everything is fresh in your mind. By the same token do not go over the time limit, people may have planned other engagements around your presentation. No matter how good your speech is, if you go over the time limit, the audience will tune out and your message will not be absorbed. If you remain respectful of other people’s time, you’re likely to be invited back again.
  6. Make sure your equipment is working
    Showing up early ensures that you have time to check that your equipment is working as it should. Inevitably, technology will malfunction even during the most prepared speaker’s speech. Be ready for all different types of scenarios. If you are, your confidence levels will remain high and so will audience confidence in your ability. Making sure your equipment works as well as having a “plan B,” means you’re prepared no matter what happens.
  7. Check the mood of the audience and adjust accordingly
    It’s always a good idea to test the mood of the audience before you begin your presentation so you can adjust accordingly. Meet some of the audience members, to engage them on a deeper level and also to help you feel more comfortable. Are they tired, chatty, happy, or have low energy? If you use the information to your advantage, you’re more likely to deliver a captivating speech.

Some of the most effective speakers in history have incorporated these techniques and have impressed the masses. Delivery of a speech is instrumental in getting the point across to an audience who may or may not be receptive to what you have to say. If you follow these steps, you’ll cover the problem areas and remove some of the hurdles that may lie in your way of giving an effective presentation.

Article Sourced by Australian Institute of Management