Even the most engaging and impactful speaker can be naturally shy.
Actually, Simon Sinek, the author of the book “Start With Why”. You probably know him from his famous TED talk “How great leaders inspire action”, which has been viewed for over 32 million times.
Even Simon is naturally shy and when at parties, he likes to hide alone in the corner or even better, never show up.
So this isn’t something you’re born with…
It’s something you can work to improve and get better at over time with hard work and practice (as with almost everything).
I’ve collected some great given advices from the leading professional speakers all around the world and decided to share them with you in this blog post. Here are 10 public speaking tips that will help you improve your talks and presence on stage so that you can have the impact you want, and deserve.
10 Public Speaking Tips
#1 – Don’t Talk Right Away
This tip is actually from Simon Sinek himself. A lot of people (well, most of use actually) start talking right away as they are going up on stage.
It’s because of nervousness, and this works against you.
This small step shows signs of insecurity and fear.
Kind of ironic since most people are doing this to show they are ready for the stage and they know their talk.
Instead, walk up on stage just being quite, take a deep breath, and wait a few seconds before you begin. It sounds tedious but it shows strength and help you be in the moment.
It will also show the audience that you are confident.
#2 – Start Strong With A Hook
The audience will judge you after a few seconds.
A personal story or a famous quote from an expert are two good ways to start your talk with.
Some will even use some interesting stats that will grabs the attention of your audience and opens their mind to your message.
Web Marketing Guru and world famous speaker, Marcus Sheridan, shared on my virtual summit, Speak On Stage Summit, his way of putting together his talk, how he grabs the attention of his audience, and how he manages to have the impact that he wants and get the standing ovations that he deserves, in three simple steps.
- One Big Takeaway – Biggest mistake is to put too much information.
- Experience – Share a story that relates to your takeaway.
- Start With A Question – Now that you have the theme and the story of the segment, go back to the beginning and start with a question.
Start strong and you set the tone, raise your value and credibility, and will have an engaging audience throughout your talk.
#3 – Don’t Do Your Prep On Stage
Oh this is a key one.
For some it’s tech issues that they can’t do anything about…
But of other who are doing their prep work, mic checkings and all that stuff on stage… What the hell?
Never wait until you are on stage to check how/if the mic is working, the presentation slides, the remote control, or the lighting.
Make sure to get the help you need before going up on stage, and also have a backup plan in case things get loose.
What do you do if your presentation goes down?
Be prepared for these kind of situations and keep yor calm when/if they happen.
#4 – Slow Down
When you get nervous, you tend to speak faster.
The first step is to recognize this, and then start talking slower… And slower… And slower.
It’s incredible that you can stand on stage and talk so slowly there are several seconds in between your words.
#5 – Paus For 8 Seconds
Paus for two or three seconds and the audience will think you’ve lost your words, paus for 8 seconds and even the people sitting on their phone and texting (aka snapchatting) will drop their phone and focus on you.
This is a wave of confident boost that the audience will love.
Hard time reading it?
Yeah, imagine doing the same but speaking super fast to a bigger audience.
They won’t understand a lot.
Slow down and paus to show your confidence.
#6 – Practice
I’m still chocked of people just going up on stage without preparation and just planning to wing it.
That’s NOT how it works, buddy.
If you know that you are going to deliver a talk or a presentation, create it as soon as possible so you can prepare. You will notice that you’ll want to tweak the words so they run smoothly.
Practice makes perfection.
#7 – Engage With Your Audience
Always engage with your audience.
It’s a two way communication.
Remember what Marcus Sheridan shared on my virtual summit? Start with a question.
He takes it a step further in many of his talks. Sometimes, depending on the audience, he requires name tags so he can call them by names, moving back and forth between the audience instead of just standing on stage like a statue.
#8 – Mind Your Bodylanguage
You body language leaves subtle clues about your inner state that the audience can pick up.
For example if you’re nervous, don’t believe in what you are saying, or if you are confident in what you are saying.
Stand up straight and have eye contact with your audience.
Also, take the advice from #7 about moving around on stage and near the audience, instead of standing still on one place or behind a podium.
#9 – Put Your Nerves, In Your Pocket
It’s said that we fear public speaking more than death itself.
But if you really think about it, how many speakers have you seen messing up big time?
Forgetting every word and slide?
Not many, right!
We tend to build this up in our head where we think we will pass out on stage from our nervousness or something like that.
Chances are, you’re gonna do just fine.
Every time you have these thoughts, take a few deep breaths. It will help your mind to stay on this exact moment, on focus on just being.
Don’t let those thoughts make the journey a painful ride.
#10 – Finish With A “Thank You”
You’ve been speaking to a few hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people in the audience. They’ve been sitting there and listening to what you have to say, following a long, and giving you a standing ovation (hopefully) when you are done.
Time is our most valuable asset, and they gave it to you.
It’s just fair to give them a thank you, don’t you think?
The Key To Master Public Speaking
As with anything else, public speaking takes time, hard work, and practice. There is always room for improvement, no matter which lever you’re at.
Learn more about public speaking, how to create a killer talk, how to deliver it on stage so that you can have the impact that you want and get the standing ovation you deserve, check out my virtual summit, Speak On Stage Summit, with world-leading experts and professional speakers sharing their best advice (from experience) about creating and deliver your talk on stage (even if you have ZERO experience).