If you have been looking for public speaking tips, then this article will show you 5 things you can do to lift your public speaking to a professional standard.

1. Get rid of the ‘ums’ and ‘ers’

These ‘space fillers are annoying and distracting to an audience. A great public speaking tip is to listen to a good public speaker. You will soon notice that they will regularly pause for a moment or two to allow the audience time to savour what they are saying and to give themselves time to think, but they never um and er. Practice your own speeches in private and as soon as you find yourself about to use a space filler, stop and pause for a moment. In no time at all you will have eliminated ums and ers from your public speaking.

2. Don’t lean on the lectern

If you lean on the lectern it sends out a body language message that you aren’t comfortable and in control. Another useful public speaking tip is to stand up tall and don’t touch the lectern unless you need to adjust your notes or the microphone.

3. Keep your hands out of your pockets

Once again, hands in pockets signals to the audience that you aren’t in control. An easy-to-do public speaking tip is to keep your hands by your sides unless you need to make a gesture to emphasise something you have said, or for dramatic purposes.

4. Keep to the time limit

We’ve all been to talks or lectures where the speaker rambles on way past their allotted time. In a conference situation this can seriously inconvenience the next speaker or even throw the whole program into disarray. It also means the speaker runs the risk of being silenced by the Chairperson in ‘mid flight’. Members of the audience can also be inconvenienced because they may have something scheduled right after the talk.

A professional speaker always keeps to their time limit – they know how to plan their talk to fit the time available. The only exception to this rule is when the Chair or audience specifically ask you to continue.

If you have been asked to give a speech and believe that your allotted time is insufficient, you should immediately discuss the situation with the event organiser and negotiate a solution.

5. Protect your reputation

As a final public speaking tip, if someone else in the speaking program has ‘stolen’ some of the time allotted to yourspeech, you need to seriously consider whether it is worthwhile giving your speech. You won’t do yourself or the audience any favours by trying to squeeze a half hour speech into 10 minutes. Remember that with every speech your reputation is at stake and you owe it to yourself to protect that reputation, even if it means annoying a few people. Just make sure that the Chairperson or organiser has been forewarned so that you don’t embarrass them, and if possible, work out a compromise solution.

In this article you have learnt the value of using pauses, being careful with your body language, and keeping to the time limit. By following these tips you will be able to deliver your speeches with the authority and poise of a professional public speaker.


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