5 Tips To Help You Become A Better Public Speaker

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Written by Henry Dalziel

Here Are Some Tips To Get Your To Be A Better Speaker

There are certain things you can do to make you a better public speaker: we list a bunch of them. Cybersecurity Conferences need speakers of course. This post is written to help InfoSec Pro learn how to become better public speakers.

So, if you’re looking to sharpen your skills as a public speaker grow your personal brand, and are looking for tips that will make yourself a better public speaker then you’ve come to the right place.

What Makes Me The Expert?

I’m not an expert, more of a “specialist”.

I’ve worked with dozens of Cybersecurity Speakers finding them speaking gigs, and I also continue to work with Event Organizers either with regards to promoting their events via our network or helping them market their events better.

Last year, 2019, I also spoke at two events here in Hong Kong (WordCamp 2019) and another event for marketing professionals called OMP.

Anyways – with all that being said, here are my five tips to make you better speakers in public so that organizers flood your inbox with speaking requests when they open their CFP’s!

Start With A Story!

People love stories.

We like to consume information that makes us think and stimulate our minds. To be skilled in the art of storytelling wields immense power. Stories are told to help us make decisions. They are used to explain how things work. Often, we tell stories to aid us in creating our own identities.

It’s in our nature to want to be interested and entertained.

When you are trying to be a better public speaker, take your audience on the same journey that you experienced when telling the story. Every story needs to contain an element of mystery to keep the audience engaged. You should constantly be raising questions in your audience’s minds to keep them interested. Every time you answer one of the questions you made for the listeners, it’s important to create a new one to keep your audience’s attention.

The greatest stories contain lessons at the end of them for the listeners to take away from the story. Determine what you want your audience to learn and how they should feel when you tell your story before you make your speech and presentation. At the end of your story, it’s paramount not to leave your audience hanging. Tell them why you sent them on a particular journey with you and inform them of any action that you would like them to take.

If the purpose of your speech is to sell the audience a product or service, set the frame of the problem from the beginning. Most people will start by explaining what a product or service does and its features of it. That’s something you don’t want to do and should refrain from. If you haven’t established that the audience has a problem, then they won’t need a solution. Start your public speaking session by expressing a problem that your product or service solves and how the audience can relate to it to get speaking gigs.

Practice, Practice and Practice Some More!

The good thing about Cybersecurity is that there are a ton of anecdotes and “war stories” that you’ll likely be able to share. “Hacker stories”, i.e. how a hacker obtained access to the company secrets, data, or similar will likely fascinate your audience so for this alone, being a Cybersecurity speaker and speaking at InfoSec events is a great thing.

According to psycom.net, a fear of public speaking is a common phobia and one that is believed to affect as much as 75% of the world’s population. This particular phobia is known as Glossophobia. Based on statistics, you need to be an ultimate alpha to excel in the public speaking forum. Public speaking is America’s number one fear according to data on westsidetoastmasters.com. People are more frightened to speak publicly than to die (No. 5) or endure loneliness (No. 7).

The cause of fear could be a product of any number of things. The thought of the possibility of being rejected or embarrassed in front of a large group of people could contribute to it. Additionally, the concept of being judged by a crowd of strangers, or especially friends or family members, is not one most people get excited about. Reduce any fear or anxiety you may have by relaxing and having fun.

To become a better public speaker, rehearse your speeches and presentations in front of people of which their opinions are of value and importance to you. This will prepare you for your upcoming public speaking session. Listen to their feedback. It’s also a great idea to film yourself rehearsing the speech and presentation. Once you have finished, evaluate and listen to it and then pick out the areas in need of improvement.

Body Language

If you would like to get speaking gigs, then you need to produce a super first impression. To deliver your speech as confidently as possible you must dress well. Drape yourself in attire that you feel best in, and will be attractive and appealing to your audience. Whatever you decide to choose, you should be comfortable and capable to speak to your audience gracefully while maintaining a favorable appearance.

The body language you display to your audience is important to the effectiveness of your speech and presentation. What you communicate through body language is just as important as the words you are delivering to your listeners. Remember to keep your body open so that there is no barrier between you and your audience. It’s not uncommon to want to fold your arms or place your hands in your pockets during a presentation. Don’t ever do this.

Get comfortable with the stage and make sure you are familiar with it and have a good awareness of it. Pay close attention to the positioning of the lights so that you know how they will make you look during your speech. Will you be holding the microphone in your hand? Will there be a microphone stand that you need to be stationary with? These are questions that you need to consider before your public speaking engagement.

Use gestures with your arms and hands to deliver your message. Remember to keep your palms open as it is a more welcoming body language for your audience. What if there is a podium? If this is a requirement of your speech then you should know that it’s best to never touch the podium. If you touch it or even engage with it using your hands, then you are likely to start shaking it or rest your hands on it. You shouldn’t do that. Maintain a healthy distance from the podium so you can still express yourself through hand gestures and body language.

The Spirit Of Giving

To become a better public speaker you should have a desire to give, share, and help the people populating your audience. They will be more receptive to the speech you are delivering if you are giving them value and useful information. As opposed to blatantly selling them your product or service, deliver your speech with the intent that you want to help the audience for free in any way you can. If you speak with the spirit of giving then you will be a much better public speaker. Also, make direct eye contact with as many members of your audience as you can.

Eat, Rest And Drink Well

Energy is important and essential for good speaking and voice projection. Before a short talk, be sure to eat lightly. This ensures you will be bright and allow your brain to function best. Before a long talk, eat a good, balanced meal. A solid breakfast or lunch filled with protein will give you the energy to burn for several hours. Protein is brain food and you need it to think and speak effectively.

Tony Blair used to have a banana before he had an important speech to give. Bananas, whether they be yellow or black, are certainly an excellent source of energy if you need staying power. Furthermore, they are also digested more slowly and release their energy steadily, so if you’re going to be giving a talk to an audience lasting over 30 mins this superfood might be a great idea!

When you eat and drink well your voice will remain strong and your mind will stay clear. To have the best possible voice, only drink room temperature water before and during your speech. Coldwater can freeze your vocal cords and decrease the amount of warmth in your voice. If a time arises that you suffer from a sore throat then drink warm water with honey added to relieve all of the stress it has caused due to your public speaking.

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