Can I become a great public speaker overnight? There are so many people that need to deliver a speech maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, and they don’t have the experience of a great public speaker.
They want to know what are the quick and dirty tips, what are the easy ways, that I can become a great speaker overnight and deliver a great speech tomorrow. Can I become a great public speaker?
The short answer is no, not overnight. The longer answer is that you can deliver a great speech, even if you have a short preparation time, if you prepare properly and structure your speech properly.
Quick Tips For Becoming A Great Public Speaker Overnight
I want to go through some quick tips for becoming a great public speaker overnight. Obviously, you’re not going to be a Barack Obama or an Anthony Robbins or Martin Luther King, Jr. overnight, but the more you practice the better you get.
Knowing these tips will help you at least deliver a good speech tomorrow and to feel confident in doing that.
Tip #1: You Need To Know Your Topic
Don’t just know your speech, know your topic inside and out. Get on Google and do some research if you have to, but you need to understand your topic in great detail.
What might happen during your speech is you might lose your place, you might have questions, you might have interruptions, you might gauge the audience and realize that the example that you prepared earlier isn’t working quite well, so you might need to improvise when you’re on the spot.
Knowing your topic will give you confidence to do this, and will give you the ability to be able to think on the spot and change on the spot as you need to.
Tip #2: Know Your Speech Inside and Out
Not just to know it word-for-word, but to know your key points, and to know your key points where you structure your speech in a certain way.
You have your opening, you have your body which consists of one, two, three, four points, and then you have your closing and what are those four points.
That way you know your word-for-word speech, but if you forget it, you know those main points and you can come back to them to still deliver a great speech.
A good strategy to use is do the following activities:
1. Summarize your entire speech in 140 characters – What is your single key message
2. Summarize your introduction, body and closing in 140 characters each – What are the key messages for each section of your speech
3. Try delivering your speech in an different order – This allows you to memorize sections and not require flow on from one section to another.
Tip #3: Create Smart Cue Cards
If you’re going to use cue cards, make sure that you’re smart about it.
What a lot of people do, which is a massive mistake, is that they’ll write down their speech word-for-word on their cue cards and they’ll get to the bottom of their cue card and be halfway through a sentence so they’ll just continue it on the next cue card. This is a big, big no-no.
What we want to do is write our cue cards in such a way that when I get to the end of a cue card, that is actually the end of a point. You then have an opportunity to pause, change your cards, and then move on to the next point.
What you don’t want to be do is being mid-sentence and then fumbling with your hands to change your cue cards at the same time. Have smart cue cards.
Tip #4: Practice in Front of a Video and Watch Yourself
Film yourself giving a speech, and then watch yourself back.
I was speaking to a friend of mind who gives speeches for a living and he said he can get up in front of 1,000+ people and deliver a speech with simplicity. But when it came to filming on video he found it EXTREMELY difficult.
In many ways filming yourself on video is more difficult than delivering a speech in person. That is why it is a great thing to do in the 24 hours leading up to your presentation.
Be a part of the audience, watching yourself, critique yourself. Say, “What did I do well? What was engaging? What blended?”
What you want to look for first off are what are the worst parts that I need to change immediately?
Then you want to start from there, change that, and then work your way up. Ask youself “what are the horrible things, what are the worst points, then what are the bad points, then what are the not-so-great points?”
Then you’re moving up to the good and the great points. You want to get rid of those horrible, awkward moments to start with, and then make your way up, getting better and better as you watch yourself coming back.
Tip #5: Take the Time to Create a Killer Opening
Tip number five would be to take the time to create a killer opening. You want to have an opening that engages your audience, that sets you on the right path, and that builds credibility for you.
You want to have a killer opening. It’s a good idea to take the time to prepare that in advance, to try a few different ones.
We have a podcast that we did on how to create awesome openings, and you can check that out to help you with this point.
Tip #6: Know The One Single Message You NEED to Get Across
If you spend, whether it be half-an-hour, 40 minutes, an hour, ten minutes, if you spend that time talking to the audience, what is the one message that you want them to walk away with at the end of the day?
What is the one message that you want them to take home that has impacted their lives?
Know that one message that you need to get across, because when you’re delivering your speech, you know that you need to get that one message across. You can adjust accordingly.
You can hold on certain points where you find that they really deliver that message quite well, and you can adjust to the crowd as well, and as how they respond to you and your messaging. Know your one message that you need to get across.
There’s six very quick tips on how you can become a great public speaker overnight.
Public speaking is a progressive art. It is something that you get better at over time, with practice. As you’ll notice, if you go back and look at the beginning of these podcasts or if you go back to some other sites that I ran when I did podcasts then, my public speaking skills were so much worse than they are now.
I still have quite a long way to go and I’m learning.
Practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. That is the best way that I have found to become a great public speaker overnight and to deliver a great public speech.