You’ve got fantastic thing to tell your audience. They are lucky enough to be able to sit in the room when you give a speech. If you want to do a good job of connecting with your audience, then you’ve got to know and put into practice the most important secret that all successful public speakers already know.
What Happens If You Don’t Know The Secret
Before we dive into the secret that you just MUST know, let’s talk about what happens to presenters who don’t know the secret. You know, like perhaps you today.
If you have a presentation coming up you probably do what we all do: throw together some slides. Once that’s done you remind yourself that you really should spend some time practicing what you are going to say. I mean, you already know it all, but it seems like someone once told you that you should practice a speech before you give so that’s what you think that you should do.
How do you go about doing that practice thing? Well, once again if you are like most people, you probably just sit there at your laptop and flip through the slides thinking about what you’ll say when that slide is being displayed. If you take it a step further, you might actually move your lips and say things like “oh, I should mention…” and such.
The problem with all of this “practice” is that it’s not really doing you a lot of good. In fact professional presentations coach Jerry Weissman recently pointed out that this is actually going to reinforce bad habits. When you get up to speak, you just may start to mumble like you did during your so-called practice and that’s not going to do anybody any good.
How To Use The Secret
Ok, so I’ve kept you hanging long enough. It’s time for me to share the big secret to delivering a speech that will connect with your audience. What you need to do is to take the time to practice it correctly. This means actually verbalizing what you are actually going to say to your audience while you are practicing it.
What this means is that you’ll be training yourself to say the right words in the right order. If you practice giving your speech enough, then when the big day comes, you’ll be able to deliver the speech without even having to think about what your next words should be. Instead, you’ll be able to run on auto-pilot allowing the correct words to tumble out of you in the right sequence.
Practicing what you are going to say before you actually have to say it allows you to spend your time during the actual presentation watching your audience and developing listening skills so that you can determine if they are understanding what you are saying. This allows you to do what the pros do: dynamically adjust what you are saying in order to ensure that you connect with your audience.
What All Of This Means For You
We would all like to become as good of a speaker as that famous Tony Robbins guy. In order for that to happen, we are all hoping that there is some sort of magic formula that we can learn that will allow us to overcome our fears and capture the hearts and minds of our audiences.
I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. We’ll start with the bad news: there is no magic formula. However, the good news is that simply by taking the time to practice the exact words that you’ll be saying you can make your next speech much more effective.
Learning to practice your speech correctly and then taking the time to actually do it may not seem all that glamorous, but the pros have shown that this is the best way to become an effective speaker. In order to let all of those ideas that you have inside of you out, practicing giving your next speech the right way is what you are going to have to do.
Question For You: How many times do you think that you should practice your next speech before you give it?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As speakers, when we are standing in front of an audience, we are actually pretty naked. All that we have to work with when we are giving our speech are the words that are tumbling out of our mouths, some hand gestures, and perhaps some props that we’ve brought along. That’s pretty much it as we try to show the importance of public speaking. Unless you realize that you actually have a very large visual aid that is just sitting there waiting for you to use it. What am I talking about? Why the stage that you are standing on, of course.