The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Eight Top Tips To Turn You Into An Impressive Public Speaker
It’s one of the most common human fears; it has been unanimously voted as one of the biggest fears of all time, up there with flying, but public speaking doesn’t need to scary. If you’ve got a big work presentation coming up, or are giving talks at corporate events, then these fail-safe tips from Gill Cooper, Hospitality Manager for Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, will turn you into an impressive public speaker before you know it.
Bowood Estate has been hosting important meetings with some of the nation’s foremost thinkers, opinion leaders and innovators for hundreds of years, in some of the best meeting rooms Swindon and the surrounding countryside has the offer, so Gill certainly knows her stuff.
- Know your material – It sounds silly, but make sure you know what you are talking about. No one likes a liar or a bluffer so ensure all the material you are talking about is true and factually correct. Obviously, a little exaggeration makes a good story but make sure you won’t be found out if you tell a little white lie. Read up on all of your material and make sure you know every fact and figure inside out. After all, knowledge is power.
- Practise makes perfect – It goes without saying that practise makes perfect. The more you practise your speech or presentation, the more comfortable you will be with it and the more confident you will feel delivering it.
- Get acquainted with the room – Try to arrive at the venue earlier than everyone else, allowing you time to familiarise yourself with the space. Work out where people will be seated; will they be able to hear you from your position? Try and work out the acoustics by talking loudly from different points of the room. This will help you to understand how your audience will hear you.
- Chat to the audience – If you arrive at the venue early, try to chat to your audience before your speech when they are milling around. Ask them why they have come to attend the event and what they hope to get out of it. This will help you understand what your audience wants to take away from your speech/presentation.
- Relax – Easier said than done, but try and relax. Public speaking is not a life or death situation and should be enjoyed. Remembered, people have come to see you.
- Speak slowly – No one wants to listen to someone talking at machine gun fire speed. Slow down. You may feel like you are talking ridiculously slowly, but it will reach your audience at perfect speed.
- Don’t apologise – Don’t start your presentation/speech by announcing how nervous or frightened you are. This will make the audience feel uncomfortable and they will then expect a nervous performance from you.
- Try and enjoy it – Public speaking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it gets easier with practice. Try and enjoy your experience, remember, the audience are there to see you for a reason!
About Bowood Hotel
Bowood has been the Lansdowne family home for over 250 years. The House lies in the centre of a beautiful rolling landscape next to a large lake – all created by ‘Capability’ Brown back in the 1760’s.
More recently added to this two thousand acre oasis has been an amazing adventure playground (1970’s), championship golf course (1990’s) and boutique hotel (2009). Lord Lansdowne’s vision, over the past forty years, has been to harness Bowood’s natural assets whilst preserving its unique heritage by creating something that interests and excites all tastes and ages.