You might possibly know how jokes can complement your speech. But jokes can also cause your speech to be disastrous. Jokes are both a boon and bane to a speech.
If you are very much in comfort with it, use humor. Just check it first if it fits, serving as a breaker between sections or emphasizing a certain point. A funny and great line, or a comment that is irreverent can help liven up the presentation that you have and will help people to remember the things you have said. Of course any joke must be related to the topic that you have in some way. If you are not sure about something, you could also use a humorous photo or cartoon (with the permission of the photographer or illustrator, of course) in your slides.
Aside from making jokes or humor in your speech, you could improve your public speaking with these other tips.
– You should be able to grab your listeners attention even right at the start. That is why it is important that you start correct confident posture, eloquent speaking style, controlled voice tonality and impact, and a nice, well-thought speech from you.
– The information in your message should be organized clearly and logically, making it easy for your listeners to follow what you are trying to say. Keep things easy and simple. Divide the information into smaller blocks and work from there. Highlight the points that you want your audience to remember.
– Your most crucial point should be the conclusion, bringing the speech to a close. The conclusion sets the tone of the speech, and lets the listeners think about and ponder on the things you have just said. Literary devices, such as quotes, stories, rhetorical questions, or surprising facts, can be used for concluding a speech, although of course, these devices should relate well to the topic of your speech.
– Deliver the conclusion that you have clearly and slowly. Keep eye contact with your listeners as you speak. Smile at them, thanking them for the time that they have given you.
– You should remember all these tips and in due time, you would be surprised to see how these techniques have helped you in your future speaking presentations. Your listeners will eventually understand the information you have given them and respect you for your ability in delivering that information.
An effective public speaker should be able to utilize devices that will be able to capture the attention of the audience. One effective means for them to give you that much needed interest is this: get them to go on stage. Make them participate. When someone is on stage and he or she happens to be a member of the audience, the rest will almost always stay attentive. Why? Because they would like to see what you will be doing to one of them. Also, because they are thinking they could be up there themselves and so to save their precious egos from embarrassment they at least need to know what is going on.
No matter how good or excellent you are as a presenter or as a public speaker, nothing beats the excitement of getting someone to be on stage who really should not be there in the first place. What is going through their minds at that moment when you pull an unsuspecting someone from their complacency is that, Oh my god, what if the speaker selects me to go up there next? What am I going to do? Then later, I need to pay attention to this. A little bit later as you go through your presentation, the audience will then most probably think, What point is he/she making? And then as you take your point across, the audience will then get to think, Now I get it. Because you made them pay attention, you have forced them to listen and respond to your statement in the privacy of their minds.
However, there are those extremely shy and very sensitive members of the audience who might withdraw from going through the rest of your presentation if they hear you will be calling on them up on the stage. The objective is to gain an audience and not to lose any of them.
Make it clear prior to your asking someone to come up on stage with you that you are asking for a volunteer and that no one will be forced if they do not want to. Notice that if the majority of your audience are shy, once you finally get someone to be on stage, all of them will almost always heave a sigh of relief that you would actually feel a breeze pass you by, really.
Another way to get the audience to participate as well as pay attention is by giving them due recognition. Try to acknowledge a single member of the audience for a specific achievement or a moment of a good performance, or also acknowledge a group of the audience.
Timing is essential when speaking in public. The cliché: It is not what you say but more on how you say it, applies so much to public speaking.
Where you put your pauses during your presentation is one of the important aspects of maintaining an audience that is free from drowsing off. Couple this with humor and you are definitely on a roll.
Timing is the element involved during reactions that are spontaneous especially on developments during your delivery that are unexpectedly expected.
Do not forget, though, that when you expect any laughter to burst any time soon, avoid speaking as your voice and whatever it is that you are saying will most probably be drowned out by the noise of the audience.
Make sure to remember that laughter is extremely difficult to get and so very much easy to discourage. Try as much as possible to maintain eye contact with the audience for a little time longer when you deliver that punch line.
The audience size could also affect the way you use your timing. When the audience is small, the presentation you have will most probably be delivered in a lesser time compared to if you have a large audience. The reaction of a large audience will get to be a little longer and not as quick as if the audience is small. You also have to wait until the seemingly ripple effect of your punch line gets to that audience in the back row.
Believe it or not, putting that much needed silence in your presentation is one of the hallmarks of a skilled and good presenter. No public speaker should jabber constantly away in the hopes of keeping an audience glued to anything it is you have to say. Ironically, this is one effective way to keep their focus off you. The use of silence adds that much needed polish in your presentation making you appear as a confident expert.
Short pauses are effective to use in order for you to separate your thoughts. These pauses last from half a second to two. You do not have to literally count though, just keep in mind to slow down. This gives the audience a chance to absorb all of what it is you are getting across. It also helps if you change the inflection in your voice during the end of a thought as this could also signal to the audience that another thought is coming their way. Pauses are also an effective means if you want to highlight something. Put it before any word or thought you want the audience to focus on, they will most definitely get that.
It is almost impossible for one to go through his or her adult life without having been asked to speak in public at least once.
You might have proposed a toast to a wedding, or reported in front of a class. At work, you could have done an oral presentation for a promotion. Or you could have faced a group of interviewers before you actually got hired for the job that you now have.
All of these and more would require a person to get up and speak out in front of a number of people.
This can either be a good or a bad experience for the speaker.
In the United States, studies show that public speaking is one of the most common fear that Americans have.
How do we eliminate this widespread public speaking anxiety?
The key is to face your fear, master your material, and rehearse.
Here are some helpful tips on how you can use rehearsing to eliminate the fear of speaking in public:
1. Know your material.
Prepare an outline of your speech and look for bits of information which could be a major point of interest.
Read about every aspect of the topic so that it will not be difficult for you to answer unexpected questions should they come up through the course of your discussion.
2. Have a “dress rehearsal” before the big day.
If you are making a formal presentation in a particular place, go to the venue a day ahead or several hours before the presentation to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
If there is a rostrum, stand in front of it and test the height. Make the necessary adjustments so that the audience will have a clear view of you as a speaker.
This is also a good time to check out the equipment that you need to proceed with your presentation.
Create charts and photos for a slide presentation to make your presentation more informative and interesting.
Time is also important so you can have a run-through of the entire speech and record your voice while doing so. This would give you anidea of how long it will run. The recording will also reveal the focal points where you can vary your tone of voice for a more lively speech.
It is also a great idea to tape yourself or have somebody do it for you while you are rehearsing your actual speech.
Review the video and look for ways to improve your overall presentation.
Practice makes perfect, so it is very important to rehearse before giving out that all-important oral presentation and help you reduce your public speaking anxiety.
Public speaking does not have to be difficult. Here are some tips to help you prepare for public speaking.
You don’t need to be perfect in succeeding in speaking in public.
You do not need to be too witty and brilliant to be successful when you speak in public. Public speaking is not all about that. It may look like it is, but in actuality, it is not. You can be the average guy you are.
What is important in speaking in public is that you give your listeners something that is worth their time. If people leave after your speech with something that is of value, they would think of you as a successful speaker. They would consider your speech as something that was worth their time.
Deliver your main points
You may want to put in as many facts and information as you can. But only emphasize three or four main points. You could even talk about one main point if you want.
You should remember that what your listeners want from you is that you give them two or three key main points that they can understand and would make a lot of difference to them. If you are able to structure the talks that you have, lots of complexity will be removed.
Inject some humor but still practice humility
While there are many other public speaking styles, humility and humor are some of the devices that you could use to make your speech livelier and entertaining to your listeners.
Just make sure that you are comfortable being humorous and that the humor is appropriate for the occasion. If you do not feel comfortable giving jokes, then you might as well not use jokes which might fall flat on your nose. Or if you are speaking before a crowd of Americans of Asian descent, do not tell jokes about Chinese food or Oriental customs.
Humility in public speaking means standing before the others and sharing with them your own mistakes, your human frailties, and weaknesses. If you show to other people that you are not afraid or ashamed admitting such things, you create a relaxed and intimate environment that will permit them to open up to you too.
Being humble in public also makes you more believable, more credible, and more respected, with your listeners relating to you easier. You are no longer the remote expert who is ahead of them, but is one of them.
Although speaking in public is really a monologue of sorts, this monologue is addressed to a ready, able and receptive audience who wants to learn from you as much as you want to learn from them.
Speaking in public would be more effective if it is listened to. The following are effective tips to maintain that necessary contact with the audience.
Minutes before your actual speaking engagement, you could walk around the venue and familiarize yourself with the people who will be listening to you. As the people and the attendees arrive, give them a warm greeting. It is so much easier to deliver a speech to a group of people whom you consider as friends than to a bunch of anonymous faces.
Honestly, people expect and want you to succeed. Audiences want to be as informed, stimulated and entertained as they could be. If you fail, they cringe with you. Succeed and your audience benefits just as well from your great speaking performance.
There is nothing to be sorry about
If you mention to the audience that you are nervous or if you express your apologies to any problems you think may exist about your speech or your speech delivery, you may be setting them up to focus on that thing you are apologizing for. You do not have to mention this to them, chances are they havent noticed this until you brought it up. Relax and be silent. Your audience will relax with you.
Establish eye contact
Connect with your audience, appear natural. Or better yet, be as natural as you can be, without overdoing it of course. You should be able to get the audience to nod their heads as an acknowledgement of what you are trying to convey. Do not breeze through your speech. Pause for a while or for a brief moment, especially at those points you want to emphasize. This is also a good time to establish eye contact with your attendees as well as to catch that much needed breath.
Do not debate
If during the question and answer part of your speaking engagement an audience expresses disagreement with any part of your message, you need not aggressively prove your point to him or her. A debate is not just a futile means to get your point across but it could just as well never be resolved. Get that attendee to talk with you after your speaking engagement, never during.