We are frequently called on to speak about our work, as well as to train others in the art of public speaking.
These are our top eight tips:
- Arrive early to look at the room, make sure the microphone works, and feel comfortable.
- You are there because people have come to listen to your words of wisdom. They are not there to catch you out. Public speaking is a very different art to holding a press conference.
- Speak up, look at the audience, and speak clearly.
- Don’t rush. You should always practice beforehand, making clear breaks as you go so that your audience can think about the points you are making. Pauses can be dramatic.
- Avoid Powerpoint.
- Step from behind the lecturn, if you can, and come closer to the audience. It helps you to reach into the audience and to engage better.
- If you have written notes as prompts – staple the pages together, use large print and double space the words. Number the pages.
- At question time, if there aren’t any – perhaps ask the audience for their views to kick off a conversation. If you don’t have answers, thank the person for the question and take their details to get back to them with information.