Top Tips for Public Speaking like a Champion - Life-Changing Strategies
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Do you want to know how I just won 1st Place in the Australian District Speech Contest Evaluation Finals?
In this blog article, I will be sharing my Top Three Speaker Tips and my Pro Strategy that helped me win first place, so you can also achieve our own WINS when speaking in everyday life.
Let’s get started.
WINNING TIP #1
Let others feel your energy before you even speak a word.
Smile. Simply start with a radiant and heart-felt smile. Make sure that those around you recognize your smile and it radiates in the entire room (even if it’s online!).
When I went into the speech contest room, where other contestants were already waiting, I wore the biggest smile I could have. I saw the room instantly shift as they saw me. One of other contestant actually said out loud in front of everyone, “Hey Jody! Before you even started speaking, just because of your smile and energy, you’ve made the room lighter and happier.”
It was a very validating statement for me. “Wow! What an amazing compliment,” I said.
That’s what I want for you. You want to make sure that the person, or the people who are watching you, feel that vibrancy before you even say a word.
So, I invite you to s-m-i-l-e.
WINNING TIP #2
Make sure you have a structure that works.
When doing a speech presentation, speaking on a panel, giving feedback, being in an interview, whatever it is for you --- make sure you have a structure in mind.
Once you have a structure, all you need to do is trust in your ability to follow this.
Before my speech contest, I had no idea what my speech would be about. It was an impromptu speaking evaluation, so speaking on the spot. Though this was the case, guess what I still had planned though? Yes, a structure. I had a loose structure on how to evaluate different people in different circumstances already in mind, which led me towards a very effective impromptu speech.
There are a lot of speaking structures you can use too! It all depends on the purpose and the type of speech you will deliver. I had a structure specific for evaluations, which I can share in a future blog. For now, when you are needing to answer a question, present or talk through something, you can generally try these and see which one works for you:
● Chronological Structure. This structure is the most common of all. It normally follows a format according to time. You can start the sequence by walking us through the past, present and then future, or sometimes present, past and future, or whichever arrangement works best for you. For example, if someone asks, how did you become who you are today? You can start with what life was like in the past, what your biggest learning and shift is now in the present, and what this means for you going forward. It flows nicely.
● Problem-Solution Structure. This is when you frame the problem thoroughly, where it demonstrates how that problem concerns them personally; talk about its impact towards everyone and the depth of the problem. As Tony Robbins explains, people do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. Build-up your speech in a way that they feel the depths of the problem, and therefore they will eagerly listen to what you can offer as a solution. This will hook the audience in and make them want to listen to your full speech, presentation or answer. So, make sure that your solution addresses the problem effectively and efficiently.
● Storytelling Structure. Everyone loves stories! But it all depends on the story. This structure demands good narration and acting skills, and it’s important to only include the details that enhance the story, and not take away from the flow. E.g. Do we really need to know the exact age, brand, colour, size and condition of the boat in your story, or is it more important to talk about how you felt on that boat when your dad was teaching you how to fish for the first time? Use conversational styled language also and interesting plots to make a good point. You can add some body animation as that helps too! Bring your stories to life.
Besides these, there’s a long list of different structures you can use. Whichever suits you, make sure that it fits the purpose and your specific audience. It should always be tailor-fit.
And remember to allow yourself to let go of the fears by trusting in the structure.
WINNING TIP #3
Have a Contribution Mindset.
When you take on that stage, do you tend to make it about you?
“What are they going to think about me? Are they going to judge me? What am I going to do if I make a mistake? What am I going to do if I do things like this, like that?”
If those are the questions you keep on repeat before and during that entire presentation or speech, you’ve made it about yourself. And guess what? Your audience is going to feel that, too! That energy will transfer to them.
So, frame your mind with the right questions. Make it less about you but the contribution you will offer to the audience.
“How can I add value to the discussion? How can I give a new perspective to serve the audience? What would benefit my audience the most? What problems can I help them solve?"
When I went into the speech contest, I thought. “How can I give so much value to the person that I am evaluating that they feel empowered and full?” There, I am sending a clear and positive energy to the judges and the people watching me, that I am giving a lot of value.
Rather than making it more about yourself, focus on what you can bring as a contribution to the progress of the discussion.
This very well led me towards winning that first place title.
Golden Bonus Strategy
Make your beginning and ending powerful! Bring the WOW Factor!
Make sure that the first and last 10 seconds of your speech are powerful.
In human neurology, we can’t remember everything somebody says, but we can remember the beginning and end.
So, start strong and end strong!
When I do a speech, I make sure I start with something that will catch the audiences attention --- a physical movement, a high-five with a person, or I’ll lean into the camera. If I’m speaking live, I’ll make a noise or I’ll move my body in a way that will surprise them. I can start sharing a quote, or a fact or something valuable, and I end doing the same.
It’s important that your audience feels like they gained an experience and not just have a few takeaways from you.
Start your presentation or speech with a woosh and end with a bang!
Woohoo! We have come to the end of this blog article. I invite you to make sure you try on these four strategies, play with them and give them a go.
Go out there, and be number one in whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, and celebrate you along the way.
Also, if I can help you in any other way, please let me know what topics you want me to help you with. Simply message me here www.jodydontje.com/connect or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll make sure to do a video or blog just for you.
As always, I'm here to serve.
Remember, every day you have a choice:
You can choose to be ordinary, or as Denise Burchard explains “YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE EXTRAORDINARY”.
So, go out there and choose to be EXTRAORDINARY.
Be Brave. Be Vulnerable. Be Kind.
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