The following is a guest blog article by Lindsey Harper Mac. If you are interested in guest blogging for Sound n' Sight, please read my guest blogging guidelines . And if you have any thoughts, please comment below. Lindsey and I both would love to hear what you have to say!
Proper communication is essential when speaking with people in any setting. If you are a person in charge of training or involved with public speaking, then it is important for you to understand the skills necessary for effective communication. Anyone with business degree has had to give a presentation while they were in school. And for good reason: public speaking will likely be an important part of the job. Continuing to give sharp presentations will be important to satisfying peers, clients, and CEOs alike.
Public speaking can be fun and exciting. While it is commonly cited as a person's worst fear, with a little practice comes a lot of confidence. Remember that you are not alone. Proper communication happens when two or more people interact together. Call on your audience to engage with you so that you don't feel like one person talking to large audience. Further, knowing that people will interact with you and with each other, you'll be forced to get to know your audience. When you consider what they want from your presentation, you'll be able to deliver one that satisfies them.
It is a fact that audiences have limited attention spans. They will begin to tune out the speaker once the topic no longer interests them. So stay away from slides with tons of text. Use graphics and short lists to serve as reminders for points you wish to make. This will help audience members have hooks to hang your information on. They will associate what you say with what's on the screen. Keeping it simple also helps the audience focus on listening to you instead of reading slides and listening to you at the same time.
Keeping the Speech in Good Order
A speech should be organized. One way to make sure that your speech flows well is to put it together using the funnel method. The funnel method starts off with you discussing broad topics of interest. As the speech continues you'll narrow down each thought until the audience understands the scope of the theme. It is also important to incorporate related examples of your points to illustrate why your point is important.
The Importance of Having a Flexible Speech
Always keep the presentation in a form that can be changed without much effort. Most public speakers like to make changes to their presentation right up to the last minute. As you develop your presentation it may be helpful to keep a hard copy on paper so you can see and make changes easily.
Keep your slides in more than one place. If you're presenting from a laptop, make sure the presentation is not just on your desktop, but also on a thumb drive. You never know what kind of technical difficulties may arise or if you'll be forced to use a machine that isn't your own. Likewise, if you embed video into your presentation, there's extra room for technical error. Make sure to have a version of your presentation that doesn't rely on these embeds in case the videos don't work for some reason.
Flexibility also means being adaptable to time constraints. Some speakers tend to talk fast when under pressure and end way ahead of schedule while others seem to ramble on and go over. Practice your speech out loud and time it so you have a good idea of how long it is. Prepare a little extra in case you end up with extra time. Similarly, put the least important info last so that if you run out of time, people have the most important take-a ways already.
Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.
(Photo by 05com)