How to Become a Better Public Speaker

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  1. Preparation
    What you’re presenting should be seared into your memory. You should be able to give the speech without notes. Many people use cue cards but if you’re in front of a presentation then this is unnecessary.
  2. Body Language
    Body language has an enormous affect on audience perception of your presentation. You should stand up straight and look confident. One of the best ways to do this is to imagine that there’s a string attached to the top of your head and someone else, somewhere else, pulling it up and keeping your chin up. If you’re more comfortable sitting, then sit up straight with both feet flat on the floor and hands resting in front of you (not behind your back). If it helps keep one foot on top of the other or have one hand in your pocket (as if you were posing for a picture).
  3. Eye Contact
    It’s essential that you make eye contact with as many people as possible throughout the presentation (even though this may feel strange at first). The reason for this is that when you look directly at someone they will normally look away from you after a few seconds unless they want direct eye contact; staring at someone until they eventually look away can be perceived as threatening so it’s important to glance around the room quickly every couple of seconds or so. It also makes sense that people will remember what parts of the presentation where made while looking at them.
  4. Speed & Pause Time
    Remember that speed does not equal passion – especially when it comes to public speaking! You should speak slowly enough so that most people can understand what you are saying but try not to go too slow because this can be boring or cause you to lose their attention completely. Pausing between sentences gives time for things such as laughter, applause, questions etc which all help create a more relaxed atmosphere which is easier for everyone particularly those who are nervous about public speaking themselves. Don’t forget punctuation either – commas and periods are very useful!

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