Public Speaking – The "Divide & Conquer"

Next week you are required to give speech to a crowd, although excited, you feel a sinking feeling that you might make a fool of yourself by freezing up or mumbling on stage. Sounds familiar? Hence to prop our confidence, we refer to the internet which contains a wealth of knowledge on how other people have solved their problems in public speaking. Of course every individual is unique, but there are some tips which work for most of us.

First and foremost identify the goal of the speech. With that in mind, structure the speech into 3 skeletal parts, the bait, hook and the reeling in. where the bait is to introduce what the speech is about and most importantly generate interest from the listeners to want to continue listening. The second part, the hook is to sell them your idea to the audience. Lastly, the reeling in part is to re-iterate the points which were introduced in the bait section to strengthen your claims. Many then ask, how should my slides look like? Simply, slides are visual aids. The word aid indicates that the main focus of your audience should be on you and not on the aids. Hence try to keep the information on the slides as short and concise so as not to lose your audiences interest in you. Avoid using blinking pictures or unrelated pictures as this would again divert your listeners attention away from you and what you are saying.

The ability to transfer information clearly from one person to many is a trained skill for most while some are gifted. For those who are in the latter predisposition, we have to go the extra effort to train ourselves to speak better in speaking publicly as public speaking opens more opportunities for us.

Here are some tips to giving a good public speech, research the material that you are going to talk about. Prepare the materials way ahead of time, always prepare for the ‘just in case’ situations. Research the materials from multiple angles.

Next, research the audience whom you are going to be presenting to. Research the general ‘personality’ of that particular group and avoid touching on certain topics that might them react negatively towards you.

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