Here are some fun ideas to help develop public speaking. As always, it is essential to go down the experiential route. Try these top tips which have helped my clients develop as leaders for the last 20 years, since I have been running Performance Link.
10 Golden Rules for Personal Presence
PACE: Resist the temptation to speak too quickly, slow does not equal boring.
PROJECT: Project your voice and persona to the back of the room.
PAUSE: This allows the audience to digest what you are saying and allows you breathing space to think. ‘Pause is the speaking equivalent of stillness’.
PRACTICE: Practice out loud, to the trees, to your dog or cat or baby. Whoever will listen.
DICTION & INTONATION: Clarity of speech is paramount. If people can’t understand you, they switch off. Tonal musicality is a delight for the senses. Emphasis on important words gives meaning and colour.
SPEAK: Speak as you think. Spontaneity comes with living that moment, that word, that sentence.
STORYTELLING: Always tell a story or anecdote. They make a dull presentation more engaging and people can relate to them personally and therefore make a connection.
SELF DISCLOSURE: The more you disclose about yourself, the more approachable you become, the greater empathy you engender. When leaders disclose, people will follow.
RHETORICAL QUESTIONS: ‘What has my company got to offer you?’ ‘What are my unique selling points?’ Rhetorical questions make the audience think and answer those questions in their head.
WARM-UP: Take three deep breaths, relax neck and shoulders, hum until your chest vibrates and repeat your favourite tongue twister three times.
‘Nine naughty nanny goats nibbled nine nice new nasturtiums.’
Sarah Thurstan is Director of Performance Link. She believes that everyone has strengths in communication and it is her job to nurture those strengths and encourage them to blossom.