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Public speaking is all about performance, whether this is on an auditorium stage, in a small room or a huge arena. Holding the attention of your audience throughout your presentation or speech is an area well documented in any public speaking course. Once you’ve learned how to prepare your notes, conquered your fear of public speaking and brushed up your presentation skills, tips on great ways to captivate your audience is the all-important next step!
Public speaking tips; opening lines.
Instantly gain your audience’s interest by using an attention-grabbing opener. The nature of this obviously depends on the type of public speaking event you’re attending, so do consider whether using a joke is appropriate! Starting with a question or a controversial opening statement will often have a dramatic effect.
Public speaking tips; acknowledge your audience.
Let your audience know that you care about the fact that they given up their precious time to listen to your speech. Many speakers try to block out the people present in the room, sometimes to try to help control their fear of public speaking or because they want to concentrate on their notes. You have to remember that your audience are the reason you’re there in the first place! You’ll win over your listeners a whole lot quicker if you acknowledge their presence, interact with them by asking or answering questions; even just by making eye contact with a few people can make a big difference in your public speaking performance.
Public speaking tips; using notes and visual aids.
Most people prefer to have some notes handy for public speaking events, and you may prefer to use slides, Powerpoint or other visual aids. These can be very useful, but be careful not to focus on them too much or you may be in danger of losing the connection with your audience.
Public speaking tips: personality and expression.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality come across at a public speaking event. Unless you think you have potential as an Oscar winner, your audience will see right through any attempt at amateur acting. Be yourself; you’ll gain a lot more respect from the people you’re addressing. Although public speaking is a performance to some extent, it’s your personality and your material that will make it interesting.
Public speaking tips: working the room.
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