It is undeniable: every leader is confronted in his career with having to speak in public, if only in front of his employees, colleagues or superiors at a meeting.
Eloquence is a delicate exercise, nevertheless essential when it comes to supervising a team. Indeed, for a manager , mastering the oratory is a useful quality in many circumstances: leading a meeting , motivating his teams, establishing his leadership, presenting a project / an innovative idea to his superiors, etc.
The stakes are high: imposing your ideas and your personality through these speeches in front of interlocutors who do not necessarily adhere to your positions from the outset allows you to build your personal credit and establish a certain leadership with your employees.
But not everyone is necessarily comfortable at these times. To communicate effectively, the speech in itself is, of course, important, but the speakers know it well … the gestures, the attitude, the tone employed are all intrinsic elements to a good oral communication. They contribute just as much – if not more – to get the message across.
It therefore appears essential to develop your charisma and fully assume your role as manager to be able to control your stress , overcome your fears, structure your interventions and thus demonstrate a certain ease in public .
Good news: all of this is working! A few tips and a little practice will overcome even the most introverted!
Prepare to speak
You don’t become a good speaker overnight. This requires a minimum of training. Especially when shyness is one of our character traits. For your message to really get across, you need to work on certain aspects of public speaking – which one could qualify as a prerequisite – well before the big day in order to master them perfectly.
It is highly suggested that you watch other professional speakers so that you can learn from the best. If you research some of the expert keynote speakers, you will quickly learn how they are able to speak at such a high level by commanding the stage and having strong stage presence.
Develop your self-confidence
It is the basic foundation of a certain relational ease and more generally of a flourishing interpersonal communication.
To be comfortable with others, you must first of all be comfortable with yourself. For this, it is necessary to know how to detach yourself from the gaze of others and regain your own confidence.
Work on your assertiveness: what are your strengths? What are the qualities that you can rely on without hesitation? List your small and big successes: they are all supports that will help you regain self-confidence. Allow yourself the right to make mistakes : this is how we learn. Start by daring to speak up when you feel comfortable with your interlocutors. Proceed in small steps. You will appreciate more no longer the challenge and you will launch bigger oratorical challenges.
Learn to better manage your stress
Both dreaded enemy and best ally of actors and other speakers, the stage fright generated by speaking in public is the expression of apprehension, of a fear of disappointing. This therefore indicates a certain respect for the people to whom we must address. In other words: apprehending a public presentation is a pretty good sign!
Nevertheless, it is essential to tame your fears in order to keep only the “good” stress, that which acts as a motor and not as a brake.
Identify the causes of your anxiety, take a step back, organize yourself in your work , dare to say no , learn to delegate , etc.
In addition, there are some techniques which, if you learn to master them and practice them regularly, will help you to relieve the pressure quickly, such as breathing exercises, relaxation or even visualization.
Work on your non-verbal language
Gestures, attitudes, intonation, looks and other non-verbal cues are just as important as the words used in a speech. It is therefore essential to know how to work on your non-verbal communication before jumping into the lion’s den!
In particular, during your intervention you will ensure:
- Keep both feet firmly anchored to the ground : avoid resting on one leg, this unconsciously evokes a certain fragility, a lack of self-confidence in your interlocutors – and therefore diminished credibility.
- Stay free and confident in your posture : if you are speaking in front of a desk, avoid holding onto it, for the same reasons as mentioned above,
- Look at your entire audience : while catching a few glances that you feel “captured and benevolent”. Glance around the congregation regularly so that everyone feels important and concerned by your message.
- Take your hands out of your pockets : if this reflex is relatively common when you are uncomfortable in front of an audience, it remains for the audience a sign of “weakness” and quickly induces – and just as unconsciously – doubt as to the credibility of the speaker.
- Speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard by all: this evidence sometimes requires great effort on the part of the communicator.
Improve your oral expression
Now that you’ve mastered the non-verbal language, it’s time to take a look at your verbal communication: diction, vocabulary, turns of phrase , etc.
It starts with excellent speech: do some exercises to perfect your diction, learn to pose your voice, banish parasitic words (uh, so, so there you go, etc.). Tame silences and turn them into a real weapon of persuasion!
Use a vocabulary adapted to your interlocutors. Talk to financiers about numbers, technical to engineers, adopt storytelling to send a message to your customers, etc. Prefer short sentences to longer sentences, the meaning of which is quickly lost.
Give rhythm and life to your intervention: a rich and varied vocabulary, words in adequacy with the tone employed, the subject addressed and the context of the message.
Learn to convince
Develop your power of persuasion so that your messages are heard and heard naturally. For this, it is essential to work on your charisma .
Anticipate the expectations and possible reluctance of your audience in the face of the message you need to convey. You will thus adapt your intervention so as to convince the most hesitant.
Make sure you reach out to your interlocutors by “playing” the emotional card.
Listen to your audience (attitudes, looks, expressions on their faces, etc.) so as to spot the slightest sign of stalling or not understanding and correct the situation quickly.
How to structure your speech?
It may seem obvious, but a speech that goes all over the place or ill-suited in terms of duration, content and form, will have little chance of achieving public support for the message delivered to it.
Also, if you don’t structure your speech properly, you may lose track at one point or another and have a hard time getting your audience’s attention again. Architecting your intervention logically will allow you to naturally unfold your message and convince your interlocutors .
The main phases of public speaking are as follows:
- Capturing the attention of your audience : that’s the hook of the speech. Impactful, it must immediately arouse the interest of your interlocutors.
- Suggest : get to the heart of the matter. Clearly and briefly recall the reason for your intervention.
- Sweep away some objections : you will again capture the attention of any lost sheep or any other interlocutor convinced of the unfounded message of your message, quick to throw the first stone at you.
- Argue : be enthusiastic and dynamic to present your project or defend your idea. It’s about getting the assistance on board with you.
- Rephrase the subject of your intervention to make sure that everyone has heard and understood your message.
- Conclude by mentioning a key element. The last seconds of a speech are very often – just like the very first seconds – the few things the audience will remember. They will also convey the general feeling of the public about your speaking. It is therefore essential to work well this moment.
As you can see, there are many factors you will need to consider if you want to inspire and motivate people through public speaking. The most important factor in a successful presentation or speech is that you must prepare so that you look natural and confident while in front of the audience.