Continuing from our last post on my journey through the SpeekUp course, I wanted to share some additional tips and tricks that I found useful, and which may be useful to you as well, so enjoy :)
Choose a topic that resonates with you! For me this is one of the things that I found really made an impact on how my speech was delivered. Once, I even scrapped a 20-minute speech that I had prepared because looking back at it, I didn't feel that passion in me and at the back of my mind there was always this lingering feeling that it just didn't fit right. Trust your gut! When you talk about something you are passionate about, the audience can see & feel it.
In the body of your speech, people tend to only remember a few things at a time so before you go onto the next section just spend about 30 seconds to recap what you have said to them. This helps the audience solidify and remember the points that you want to get across to them.
If you find that you are talking about quite a few complex topics in your speech, try to cut it down to one or two. Like I mentioned above, people struggle to keep a lot in head so keep it focused and don't be scattered. An example of this was one of the talks that I done. It was on some philosophical questions, like "What is reality?", "Do we actually have choice, or is it just an illusion?" and "Can machines feel emotions?" As you can see all of those topics are quite deep and instead of discussing each one of those, rather just go deep into one.
If you have a presentation deck that you are using, time the changing of your slides to when you say the words. It's a small thing that takes some practice, but it really works when it is executed well.
Identify who your target audience will be as this will direct how you approach the speech. One thing I was told was that you can spin the same speech to different people as the core of the topic will be the same most of the time, just the supporting text will differ.
One thing I never thought of is that the slides are as much for you as for the audience. I always thought of them as a visual aid for the audience. Your speech will probably evolve over time so your slides will do as well. They are a living document!
Cut the Fluff
Review and go over your speech and cut anything that doesn't add to the story. Just like filler words, these provide no value so just strip it out.
If you have a very polarizing talk, be prepared for any questions & challenges that you may get. You need to make sure that you state all the sources for the facts, quote the bodies of work, as without them people may think that there is no basis for your talk and get very upset, especially if they feel like they are the ones being targeted.
So that wraps up this second part of tips in the series. I hope you found some of them handy!
Until next time...keep learning!