Monday Magic Skillshare – Public Speaking
Q: What is public speaking?
A: It’s when you are speaking as yourself to a group of people in a public setting. The setting could be on zoom or any online services or it could be outside in a building, park or anywhere!
I like to compare public speaking to karaoke. It’s very nerve wracking at first, but once you’ve done it – you can do it again! That’s not to say you won’t be nervous or scared anymore – but it’s always good to try it once.
“I have spoken at the Scottish Parliament, Falkirk football stadium and in front of 80 health professionals. Public speaking is a skill that many jobs require. If you want to be a politician and a successful one, you need good public speaking skills. How else will people know who you are if they don’t hear your voice and opinions? Activists often use public speaking to get their information out there. Martin Luther King Jr is a famous example of a great public speaker who brought the issue of American racism to the headlines. Throughout history, quotes are often taken from speeches that someone delivered. And in education, you may remember yourselves – but presentations were heavily encouraged. Public speaking Is a vital skill.” Andrew Hiddleston, ex-Ambassador.
1. Think Out Your Ideas
In order to speak well in front of multiple people, you need to have your entire presentation planned out. Just as you would create an outline for a research paper, you should do the same for your presentation. You’ll need to support your ideas, so think of examples that you can use as evidence. Try to structure your thoughts in a way that makes sense, and create a sense of completeness with a beginning, middle, and end.
2. Be Prepared
You will need to practice your speech significantly in order to feel confident while speaking. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare or you will not feel ready to present. Instead of trying to memorize every word, only memorize the key points of your outline and the examples you will be using for support. You want to be engaged. Your speech should flow naturally, as if you were having a conversation with another person. And if for whatever reason you can’t do this, let the audience know! It will help you get them on your side.
3. Start Confidently
The opening of your presentation will determine how the rest of the speech goes, so speak with assertiveness and at a volume where everyone can easily hear you. Try opening with a strong statement and bold language in order to convey confidence. Remember that the audience has no prior opinions or thoughts on what you are going to say, and you are the authoritative source in this situation. It is you they want to hear from.
4. Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact lets your listeners know that you believe in what you are saying and that you are there to inform them about something new.
5. Slow Down
A beginner’s mistake when it comes to public speaking is to rush through the presentation. When you walk to the podium or front of the room, take a deep breath, look at your audience, and even count to five before starting to speak. It may feel like an eternity, but it will seem like a normal amount of time to the people in the room. Remember to speak clearly and annunciate your words.
6. Stay Steady
Most people know that it’s important not to fidget during a presentation, but it’s also crucial that you limit your movement as much as possible. Slight swaying or talking with your hands can be just as distracting as ordinary fidgeting.
7. Be Human
Remember: it’s okay to be nervous. In fact, it’s normal. Don’t worry about seeming nervous in front of others, since everybody in the room has had to give a presentation at one point and understands how you feel. If you make a mistake, that’s okay too. Just take a deep breath and pick up where you left off. Keep in mind that everyone in the room is looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
You are get2gether – being a member is a statement in itself
I think the fact you come to Monday Magic with your opinions and are willing to give yourselves to others shows that most of you are not afraid to speak out. You are get2gether – being a member is a statement in itself. But that’s not always enough – so public speaking, telling everyone what get2gether is and why it’s good to be a member, gets other potential members and the public’s attention. Get2gether provides opportunities for members to speak from AGM’s, anniversary’s to outside events where your experiences bring interest. If you’ve never done public speaking, I suggest you look up some on Youtube and give it a go! Your opinion matter to us – we’ll be your first audience! And we’ll be very kind to you.
Emma McCaffrey, Ambassador