How to Speak So Others Will Listen

confidence Oct 15, 2020

Are you looking for a way to make a lasting impression with your next speech or presentation? The way you talk reflects your personality and displays the amount of confidence you have in your message.

The power to efficiently communicate and persuade people can make all the difference between a boring speech that puts people to sleep and a powerful one that leaves a lasting impression. If your speech contains powerful content but is delivered poorly, you'll miss out on an opportunity to impact the lives of your audience in a positive way.

Try these tips to turn your next presentation from a drab, boring affair to a dynamic, powerful presentation that your audience will remember for a long time to come:

  1. Prepare thoroughly. Preparation is the key to a successful presentation. If you speak with authority, people will listen. The only way to speak with authority, however, is to know the material of your speech backwards and forwards. Rehearse your speech many times. Practice in front of a mirror and in front of others.
  2. Move your body with confidence. If you're slouched over and your hands are shaking, your audience will get the impression that you lack the knowledge that makes you worthy of listening to. Gesture confidently with your hands as you speak and use eye contact with your audience.
  3. Use very little notes. The more familiar you are with your speech's content, the more interesting your speech becomes to your audience. Reading your speech is boring, but speaking from an outline of key points in a natural, conversational way draws your crowd in so they are encouraged to listen closely.
    • If you're passionate and knowledgeable about your subject, learn your speech well and deliver it without any notes. This will impress your audience and make your material more believable. It'll make you look like you know what you're talking about.
  4. Dress to impress (yourself) If your dress is too casual or inappropriate in any way, your audience will become distracted. Ensure you feel comfortable in your clothes and try to match your audience.
  5. Anticipate questions and answer them. What are the most frequently asked questions about your topic? When you present the material, what challenges can you imagine coming from your audience? Prepare for these objections and questions, and address them in the body of your speech.
  6. Answer the most important questions. When people hear you speak, they're really looking for you to answer only two questions. Answer those questions, and your speech will be remembered fondly for a long time to come.
    • First, your audience wants to know, "What's in it for me?" Answer that question in your speech. Simply ask yourself what the members of your audience will gain from applying the ideas you talk about or listening to your perspective.
    • Second, they want to know, "Why should I care?" You may be passionate about the subject of your presentation, but you must communicate why the members of your audience should be just as passionate about your subject as you are.

Speaking in public is one of the biggest fears of our society. With solid preparation and wise choices on the day of your presentation, however, you can create a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of your audience.