Top ten tips for public speaking

Public speaking help and tips

The prospect of public speaking can be daunting – no matter how big or small the event may be. As a major Highland destination for conferences, meetings and seminars here, at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, we have a wealth of experience in delivering successful events. Feeling nervous about your upcoming event? Fear not. Read our top tips for public speaking!

Speaker at a business conference

1. Preparation

The key to success when delivering an event is preparation. Don’t just wing it – rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Preparation is great to aid building confidence – as well as familiarize yourself with your presentation materials. Get to grips with any projectors. Technical faux pas are the last thing you want prior or even during your presentation.

2. Start your speech with a bang!

There’s nothing worse than a dull monotone introduction. It instantly disengages your audience. Try cracking a joke, break the ice and relax your audience – they are just as tense as you. If humour isn’t appropriate, then start with a strong and compelling statement – make your audience sit up and listen.

3. Stay casual but informative

Keep things casual – it’s not a school assembly! Processing lots of data can be tiring for an audience, so try breaking down facts and figures with visual aids or asking for audience participation. Furthermore, keep things brief and concise – you can always leave further materials for those interested in your topic to follow up on.

4. Don’t panic

Easier said than done, but remember, we’re only human. If stage fright hits you, take a sip of water, breathe and if all else fails, imagine your audience in their underwear – the absurdity of the situation will help you put the event into context!

5. Positive thinking!

Stay positive! Often, we are our worst critics. You may see your speech as a flop, but you’ll be surprised how well people perceive it.

6. Know your audience

It goes without saying that writing for your audience should be your first priority. Consider who your audience is, why they are attending and what needs you are fulfilling for them. For instance, talking about revenue management to fashion press members is probably not going to go down too well. Consider their motive for attending your event.

7. Fake It Till You Make It

Even if you’re not feeling confident, fake it. By acting confident, not only can you fool your body into relaxing, but your audience is more likely to be engaged in what you are saying. Approach your topic with passion!

8. Pace yourself

Remember to breathe! Don’t zoom through your speech – take your time. When you’re nervous, you can burn through your materials at super speeds, finding you still have time left to fill. Rushing through content is also a dead giveaway for your nerves.

9. Eye Contact

Nothing breaks down barriers than some eye contact. Be sure to pick out some people in the audience to make eye contact with and move your engagement to a human level. In particular, look to target audience members that have influence in regards to your particular topic. Eye contact can be a great way to provoke questions and interaction from the audience. Just don’t focus too much on one person – creepy is not a good vibe to give!

10. Be yourself

Your friends and colleagues like you for YOU! Don’t pretend to be a Product Guru if you’re not confident on your topic. People respond to genuine presentations and interaction. Don’t deviate – stay on topic!

People in suits clapping at a business event

Hosting your event at the Kingsmills

As we round up our top tips for public speaking ultimately, it’s about making sure you are relaxed, stay focused and entertain throughout your speech. State of the art conference facilities are of course a great boost for confidence and here at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, we can facilitate events of all sizes. Find out more about our meetings and events venues and chat to us today.