These 10 tips for public speaking are off the cuff and are techniques you would never have thought of by yourself. You can read the tips on top public speaking websites and get generic tips like “prepare” and “relax” but they won’t be nearly as useful as these 10 tips.
I use these 10 tips myself in my day to day life and it has helped me move from a completely useless public speaker, who thrusts at his audience, to a confident person who is happy to speak in public.
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1. Start a podcast (or just record yourself giving a speech)
Tip number one: start a podcast or just record yourself giving a speech. Podcasting is an epic way to practice your public speaking, so much better than writing it down, so much better than looking in the mirror, so much better than just practicing it in a shower by actually committing to recording yourself and recording your speech– you’re going to get so much better at it. The biggest tip I can give you with starting a podcast or with recording yourself giving a speech is not to stop and start the recording. Don’t stop when you [inaudible 00:01:22]. Keep going through it. One of the things that I see people do– the biggest mistake they make is they stop and start their recordings and they never get through their entire speech. Go all the way through it if you [inaudible 00:01:36] and take you 30 seconds or a minute just to get back on track, I don’t care. No one’s going to listen to this but you or maybe an audience if you publish a podcast, but go all the way through it and then you find out the areas that you’re having trouble with and you’d be able to work on those.
2. Don’t memorize your speech off by heart (know your content)
Tip number two: Do not, I repeat, do not– you need to listen to this. Do not memorize your speech off by heart, instead know your content. A lot of the websites out there will tell you, memorize your speech off by heart, but I tell you that’s not the way it go. When you’re in a public speaking situation, you’re not going to be able to remember word for word exactly what you’ve written down and things will always change. As you’re giving your speech you see the way the audience is reacting and you need to edit your speech based on the feedback they are giving you. If something’s flopping, well then throw it out the door. If you got your speech memorized off by heart and you have to go through word by word– if you’re totally thinking it, you can’t take another approach. Instead, know your content, know it really well and yes have a speech that you’ve planned. Memorize that speech, but instead focus on knowing your content so if you have to change [inaudible 00:02:53] halfway through your speech, you can.
3. Videos are the best way to practice (without a crowd)
Tip number three: Videos are the best way to practice without actually getting up in front of your crowd. Videos are huge and it’s so easy to record videos these days. You can do it with your Iphone, you can do it with a little camcorder for a $100. You can do it with an android phone. You can do it so easily. My Mac has a camera pointing at me that I can use anytime I want. Videos are the best way to practice because you’re not looking yourself on the mirror as you’re giving a speech, but you’re giving the speech and then you can watch it back. It’s really awkward at first to watch yourself giving a speech, but it’s a really good thing to do. You can pick up on the subtle strange things that you might do that you don’t actually know that you do. You might flick your hair every five seconds. You might pick your nose when you’re on stage. You might thrusted the crowd like I did when I was in high school, but filming yourself you’d be able to pick up from that and you’d be able to fix that before you actually get up in front of a crowd.
4. Try the Kramer technique
Tip number four: Try the Cramer technique. Now, we’ve all watched Seinfeld and we all know how Cramer enters the room at Jerry’s face. He just runs in and burst through the door. It’s a big shock factor and it’s always really funny every time he does it. It doesn’t get old. Trying the Cramer technique is being aware that during your speech something could go horribly wrong. Something can pop out of the blue– someone might burst into the room. Your slides might stop working. Someone might faint, you might lose your place, you might make mistakes. All these things could happen that could throw you off your speech completely– just like the way Cramer burst into the room, these interruptions could burst into your speech and throw you off guard. So practice and prepare for these interruptions and get good at handling them. One of the best things Steve Jobs is a great presenter and whenever the slides went wrong, he would make a joke about it and he would relate it back to a life story that he had. Keep the crowd entertained and then as the slides came back on he would go straight back into his page. He was perfect at the Cramer technique.
5. Visualisation is the most important preparation
Tip number five: Visualization is one of the most important preparations you can do. What this means is getting in a quiet place, getting away from the hustle and bustle of work or life or wife or kids, getting down, closing your eyes and actually visualize yourself in a successful situation, giving an awesome speech. Visualize yourself in a room of the people that you’re going to be speaking to and visualize them. Getting up and giving you a standing ovation as you finish your speech. Visualize how you going to say certain things and visualize the crowd laughing. Visualize you’re engagement with them– really feel like you’re there giving the speech because what this would do is this will prepare your mind for success and will actually focus your mind on how to become successful. So if you’re already showing your mind the success, that your mind will then work about making that happen.
6. Be completely 100% yourself
Tip number six: Be completely 100% yourself. I am not Jerry Seinfeld. I am not that funny. I am not Steve Jobs. I can’t wear turtle neck. I am Ryan. I am me and I can deliver a speech– when I deliver a speech and I try be someone else or I try and be funny in a way that I’m not used to, it just comes across dull. It just comes across awkward. It’s really bad way to do it. It’s really inauthentic, but by being authentic, by being yourself, by being funny in your own way, by letting your quirks come out, you can deliver a great speech and the audience will engage with you because the audience will also engage with the person. They don’t want to hear a speech delivered by a robot pretending to be someone else. So be yourself a 100%
7. Don’t get hung up on content (instead know the message you want to get across)
Tip number seven: Don’t get hung up on content. Instead know the message that you want to get across. I see this rookie mistake made all the time. People are so into the content, so into their speech that they forget completely about the message that they want to get across. The entire point of public speaking is to get a message across to your audience and to change and improve their lives in some way to get an outcome. Always, always focus on the message you want to get across and don’t let the content get in a way of that.
8. Entertain the socks off your audience
Tip number eight: Entertain the socks off of your audience. People want to be entertained. They want to be engaged. We live in the internet age where people’s attention span is shorter than a split second. So we need to keep them entertained. We talked about being ourselves. We talked about not getting half on the content and getting the message across. Make sure you do it in an entertaining way. If you can bring in multimedia or things that they know– maybe you can talk about the movie that they are familiar with. Maybe you can talk about something that occurs in their everyday lives. Get them entertained by bringing them into and talking about them. Remember, your speech is not about you, it’s not about your content. It’s about them and the message that they need to receive.
9. Skip stats, use stories
Tip number nine: Skip the stats and use stories. People do not remember statistics. They remember stories. I’m trying to remember the sermon that I’ve heard at church last week and I literally cannot remember anything that the speaker said except the story that she told about how when she gets overwhelmed with the things that the Bible tells her to do that she needs to sit down and go get a cup of tea. She had this humorous story about overwhelmed that we all feel. I remember the story. I don’t remember any of her other points. So skip the stats as much as possible– use stories because that engages people and that’s what they walk away remembering.
10. Big words suck, don’t use them
Tip number ten of the ten tips for public speaking that you would never thought of as big words SUCK. Don’t use them. Don’t use big words that people might not understand. Don’t use industry related lingo if you’re not a 100% certain that everyone in the room is going to understand the word that you’re using. Look, if you have to use big words, explain what the word is and then move on. Don’t just say the big word and then keep talking because people are going to spend ten minutes going, “I got no idea what they just said. What does that word mean?” Or they’re smart they get on Google and they’ll start searching for that word. If you introduce a new word, introduce it, explain what it means and then move on. So big words avoid them at all cause but if you have to use them, explain them.
So there you have the 10 tips for public speaking that you would never have thought of and also that you won’t find on any of the other public speaking websites. Use this, get into them, review them, practice them and you will become a better public speaker.
This is Ryan Mclean from publicspeakingman.com. Head over to publicspeakingman.com/free to get free access to our online public speaking course that will absolutely blow yourself off and make you a better public speaker. Thanks for listening. Thanks for watching and I’ll talk to you soon.