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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Advice for Improving Your Next Speaking Engagement

 

Public speaking is a skill that can be learned, and learning how to give interesting, powerful and memorable presentations could be a huge difference maker in the kinds of opportunities one realizes in their career.

Learning how to speak in public in either a business setting or during special occasions like birthdays and weddings basically boils down to the same methods and techniques, eight of which will be shared below.

First of all, the two vital keys to giving good speeches are preparation and confidence. Those without a lot of experience can build theirs up by observing other effective speakers and practicing as often as is possible. The following nine tips are just the start, but these items will get you off to a good start whenever you come across any of life's many public speaking opportunities.

1. Use a live engagement app for your next public speaking event. These apps essentially help to take a lot of the burden off of the speaker, and can also be used to prepare an audience if they are gathered at a conference. In some ways, conference apps are a bit like playbills and projected presentation for the digital age; such enriched information relays can be done via smartphone. Utilizing online registration software and tools can also encourage many more attendees to download and engage with your app for the event. The right conference apps to look into will not only help speakers augment live presentations with informative content, but provide an avenue for receiving feedback and data for improving speaking engagements in the future.

2. Begin the speech by immediately seizing the audience's attention, a practice summed by the term "utilizing a grabber." The intent is to open up the audience's mind to the information you're about to present right off the bat. Opening with an interesting and relevant anecdote, a particularly impactful statistic or a quote from an expert are three good techniques here.

3. If not a single person in the audience learns something new or takes action based on the knowledge and insights you provided, then the speech failed. This is why it is key to plan, envision and carry out your speech always with the intent to impact people in a way that maybe shakes their previously held worldview or opinions. Even if they don't take action right away, they're now more open to thinking in new ways.

The optimal result of a good speech is for audience members –- and if even one changes their outlook and behavior based on the information you provided, that should be considered a success –- to take some kind of action based on hearing your speech.

4. Practice your speech over and over again. Rehearse your speech with a timer in hand and any extra equipment you plan on using. Do it aloud and you will find it easier to refine your pacing, flow and word choice. Speak, pause, relax and continue on through your preparations.

5. Fully understand your material and try to use content that you are thoroughly interested in. Importantly, break down your speech's content into three easy to remember sections. These are grabber – mentioned above -- the speech's body and a wrap-up/closing.

6. Arrive at the speaking venue ahead of time to become a little more familiar with the microphone and your visual aids if you're using them. Also, greet and speak with a couple of audience members to give you a further boost of confidence. Consider them allies in the audience from then on.

7. Remember to breathe and relax. Visualize hearty applause after a successful speech.

8. An expert trick to use during a speech is to sprinkle in pauses -– around three to eight seconds long -– after particularly meaningful, impactful or key statements, as well as after stories.

9. Sell your speech with positive and confident body language, such as by smiling often. By being earnest and displaying confidence, you will make the audience feel that you do care deeply about the material you're presenting, and they will be more receptive.

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