About to give a talk on a subject you care about for the first time ever? There’s no getting around it – public speaking is something that gives people more anxiety than just about any other trigger out there.
Although it can be hard to shake this fear, Bob Stefanowski knows what you are going through. He has given lectures in finance and related topics throughout his life.
He too struggled when it came to communicating his ideas to strangers, but he managed to master his fears in the end.
If you are about to give a talk at a local college, Bob also understands what you’ll be facing. He had to work hard to get past the jaded nature of certain young people, which is something that intimidates many lecturers, especially considering today’s challenging political climate.
However, those who are able to copy the efforts of those who came before them will not only be able to survive their first lecture, but they will be building up a body of experience that can help them launch a successful career on the speaking circuit.
Follow the tips below and you will soon be able to speak in front of random people as if it were as natural as breathing.
1) Win them over fast
You have five minutes to capture the imagination of your audience – if you fail in this task, you will be hard pressed to recapture their attention.
It is even worse these days, as virtually everyone has a smartphone. You can lose more than 90% of people these days in the space of a few minutes – good luck competing with Facebook or Candy Crush.
In order to counter these risks, don’t be afraid to inject some humor at the start of your presentation. From there, segue into telling your story.
After this compelling opening, you will have captured most of the eyes in the room, enabling you to continue speaking enthusiastically about your topic.
2) Make sense
In any lecture, the goal is to inform your audience why your subject matters. When they exit the room, they should be advocates for your cause.
To accomplish this, you need to link together your premises logically so they can see the truth for themselves.
If you throw together talking points without thinking about how compliment each other, you risk baffling the students you are trying to win over.
Delivering your speech at a discernible speed is also crucial. If you are nervous, your subconscious will lean on your internal fast-forward button to get you out of the room faster, but it will leave many folks scratching their head.
Deliberately slowing down your delivery will give your arguments time to sink into the brains of audience members. Slowing down will also help to assuage your nerves, making your talk come across much smoother.
3) Use visual cues
This might make it seem like you are pandering to less intelligent people, but using visual media in your presentation can help you reach more people in the room, helping you hammer home key points.
Some people learn better through illustrations, images, and videos – you can water down your speech all you want, but won’t help these folks at all unless you give them imagery that brings your words to life.
Slides, video clips, photos and other forms of visual media will make it easier for them to understand what you are talking about, so don’t be afraid to use them in your talk.