7+ Public Speaking Tips To HOOK Your Audience [Like A PRO]

Public speaking…Picture this: you are standing in front of a huge crowd that is looking at you in anticipation of learning something meaningful. How would you feel? Will you be nervous like most others? Or, would you blaze through the talk like a rockstar that will have the audience hooked to what he is saying, and earn their respect and admiration for the rollicking speech?

I am no mind reader, but I don’t need to be one if I were asked to answer which of these all of us want to be. We all love to be THAT Rockstar for sure, but know something? Three out of four people on this planet have the fear of Public speaking!

But don’t worry. The aim of this blog is to understand the reasons for which people are nervous about speaking in public, and more importantly, how people like you and me can master the art of public speaking. Keep reading!

Being universal, the fear of public speaking is also a Social Anxiety Disorder which pulls down people’s performance. If you are someone who has a fad for public speaking, you should be thinking: “if this is how fearsome this skill is, I had better run away from it”.

Please don’t. These statistics don’t mean that you belong to that segment. You could always belong to the remining 25%. Am I being overly optimistic?

I am not, because the good news is that if 75% of the population fears it, it doesn’t mean it is something that can never be tamed or mastered. And, the better news is, you can start adapting these skills right away, right here.

I have culled for you as many as 7+ public speaking tips which can help you master this rear skill.

Here is the agenda we will be covering in this blog:

Tip 1: Grab Audience Attention

Tip 2: Engage The Audience

Tip 3: Know Your Audience

Tip 4: Deliver Massive Value

Tip 5: Practice, practice, practice!

Tip 6: Own up

Tip 7:  Be Open To Take Feedback

Don’t miss out on the BONUS TIP at the end of the blog!!

Tip 1: Grab Audience Attention

When you get on that podium, you have just 10 seconds to capture audience attention before you lose them. These initial 10 seconds are THE most important as they can either make or break the speech.

So, how do you capture audience attention?

A few recommended ways are:

  • Surprise them. You can say or do something which they were not expecting. It can be some statistics etc. as well.
  • Share a personal experience
  • Mention an interesting quote
  • Talk about related viral event
  • Tell a Joke

 Now, once you have captured their full attention, this is the time to use next tip.

Tip 2: Engage The Audience

Immediately after catching audience attention, seasoned speakers use that attention to get the audience engaged or involved. I would encourage you to watch speeches of great speakers and observe how they get their audience involved.

Getting them involved will set the momentum you need to make your speech effective and successful. This will also help you to deliver your message successfully, as well as create an opportunity for you to connect with the crowd and come across as a more natural speaker.

In a speech, when both the speaker and the audience are involved, then both get the most out of the situation. It is a WIN-WIN situation for both the parties.

Obvious question would be: How do you engage the audience?

There are many effective techniques to do that. These are my pick among them:

  • Ask them a question
  • Storytelling
  • Let few share what brings them to the event

Remember, getting the audience engaged does not end here. You need to make sure throughout your speech that you have carefully sprinkled different ways to get the crowd engaged.

However, it will not be possible to keep up the engagement if your audience is not finding value in your presentation. So, that brings me to the next tip.

Tip 3: Know Your Audience

Being a speaker, it is your first responsibility to know your audience. By knowing your audience, I don’t mean to know their names, etc. Rather, you should be aware of things such as these about them:

  • What type of crowd is coming to the event?
  • What are their top 3 concerns or pain points?
  • What keeps them awake in the night?
  • What is the average knowledge level?
  • What is the average age group?

These questions will help you focus your speech as per their needs. You can get this information by doing some elementary research about the audience or obtain these details from the organizers.

Knowing your audience will ensure that you are not wasting audience time; rather, it will help you to deliver a valuable speech from their point of view. This brings me to my next tip.

Tip 4: Deliver Immense Value

Knowing your audience is a prerequisite for delivering a valuable speech. Once you have covered that point, the points mentioned below could help you to ensure that your speech is delivering something of colossal value to the audience:

  • Ensure you keep the level of information shared according to the knowledge level of your audience. Everyone in the audience should learn one or two new points.
  • Give them a clear plan of action. It can be in terms of step by step process they can follow, a checklist they can refer, or any such other thing. It is important to ensure that they have a clear takeaway from your presentation, which they should be able to start implementing straightaway.
  • Share a few related additional resources, which could be either free or paid
  • Encourage audience participation. In most of the cases it brings loads of value as we can always learn from each other’s experience.
  • Address audience questions
  • Keep it easy and simple
  • Make them think by asking some thoughtful questions.

Tip 5: Practice, practice, practice!

Haven’t we heard the famed, age-old adage, “practice makes us perfect”? Public speaking is an art that can be likened to activities such as driving or swimming, or bicycling. So, the more you practice, the higher your chances of perfecting it.

Know what to practice: Practice is fine, but what do I practice? This needs to be answered. Just how do you practice for an examination? You jot down the topics, research them, and get your thoughts organized on these lines, right? Why not try the same for public speaking? Let me tell you, it works wonders.

There are different ways of practicing a speech and each way works in a different manner for different people. One simple way could be to deliver a speech Infront of your family members or friends. They can give you an honest feedback.

Discover more methods of practicing

What if your friends or family members are not available or are busy? You don’t have to wait till your wife comes back from work or your uncle returns from Cambodia.

You have one of the most neutral, nonjudgmental aids: your own mirror. Just keep looking at the mirror for your practice, (if you are narcissistic, thank your stars and me) and just keep rehearsing your public speaking exercise. 

Check your practice levels: Practicing for a public speaking task is, as I have already said, akin to taking up an exam. As you keep assessing your public speaking from time to time, it takes you that much nearer perfection.

Check your body language: One of the most important features of public speaking is your body language and mannerisms. These speak a lot about your personality, your eagerness to deliver a public speaking exercise, your willingness to educate the audience or share your viewpoint, and a lot of other things. So, make sure these gel with the audience. Here, I would like to point to one important aspect, which is this:

Tip 6: Own up

Surprised at the oddity of this point? This is very essential. You may have all the knowledge needed for delivering a speech, but there could be occasions when you don’t know what to answer when someone asks you something. In such instances, there is no substitute for humility. Let me tell you, saying that you don’t know something is good, but even better if you say you will find out and get back. Most important: take the asker’s contact and get back without fail once you have clarified on the point. Nothing makes you dearer to that person than such an effort.

Tip 7:Realize the importance of feedback

If your public speaking is a passion that you want to pursue and have plans of making it a long-term commitment, understand that your audience is your best judge. They are the ones that nurture your talents. So, make sure you offer them a feedback form and request them to offer their assessment of your presentation.

Schedule time for questions. Make sure you follow up on these items diligently. This will be one of the best services you can offer both your audiences and your own self.

Finally, I want to clarify on one point, a very vital one. It is that, all said and done, public speaking is like most other skills that can be learnt by practice.

One of the necessary traits of these skills is that they appear daunting and almost inimical at first. But as you learn them and master them, this art not only becomes easier; it is something you will want to do for a lifetime! It is like learning to walk, drive or swimming. At the beginning, you had your fears, but after mastering them, do you even think of the basics today?

Public speaking is just like that.

Here goes the bonus tip …

Connect with your audience more emotionally than through content

Yes, this point is worthy of being considered a bonus tip. Why do I say this? Am I implying that the content of your presentation is immaterial? Absolutely not.

It is of critical importance. But have you noticed that what connects to people emotionally strikes a chord better than one that is mundane?

Let me draw an analogy with advertising and marketing. What are the products that have gone on to make history? It is not merely in their being unique; it is in their ability to connect emotionally to their market that these products have become epic ones.

Can you imagine Nike being anything other than a sports shoe, or Rolls Royce being separated from its exquisiteness?

Just as a brand triggers a certain emotion, so should your presentation. It should be such that people should associate your speech with something they cherish dearly. It is on finding this niche that your success really depends.

Conclusion

Public speaking is quite an art that can definitely be cultivated and practiced with some guidance. You don’t have to let the fact of so many people dreading it affect you, because no fear is universal. Some people love what others fear, so why worry?

So, what do you think about above tips?

Let us know in your comments which tip will you use to overcome your fear of public speaking.  

Do you think there are other effective ways?

Please do mention in the comments section.

If you have found above tips useful then please do share them with your friends, family members or colleagues so that they can also start working on overcoming their fears.

Keep working on yourself and don’t give up!

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