Public Speaking - An Overview

Public Speaking is defined as the process of communicating with a large group of audience.

Let us understand the meaning of public speaking with the help of a very simple example:

    Tim was the managing director of XYZ industries. Tim wanted to circulate the company policies to all his employees and everyone directly or indirectly associated with his firm. Neither he wanted to send an email nor he had the time to call all his employees and explain the rules and regulations individually. He finally decided to call all his employees on a common platform and address them. The impact was definitely much more as Tim could personally meet all his employees and yes even the staff members were really happy as the message came straight from their top Boss. Queries were addressed and nobody could blame each other later on.

    This act of speaking to a large group of people with an intention of informing them about something is called as public speaking. Public speaking helps you communicate directly with your target audience at a single time.

The most important thing in public speaking is selecting the right topic. The agenda needs to be very clear. Do not just call people for the sake of it unless and until you are absolutely clear as to what you intend to communicate. Personal issues need not to be discussed on a public forum. If John has a personal problem with any of his team members, then does he need to call all the employees for a public meeting? Absolutely NOT.

Remember, public speaking plays an important role only when the topic is related to all and everybody needs to be informed of the same. Make sure you choose the right words while addressing people. One wrong word and you are gone. No one would believe you in future.

Be very confident while addressing people. Do not forget to make an eye contact with your audience. It helps you establish a relationship with them. There are people who look here and there while speaking. Such a practice needs to be avoided at all cost.

Be precise and crisp. It is foolish to play with words on an open forum. Do not unnecessarily cook stories but come to the point immediately. No one really has the time to listen to your stories. A public speaker needs to be smart and intelligent enough to understand the reactions as well as moods of his audience. Dragging the session unnecessarily is of no use.

Maintain a smile on your face. There is no need to be nervous if you know what you have to speak. Remember, public speaking is an art. Not everyone is born with public speaking skills. It comes with time. Be extremely careful of your pitch. Be neither too loud nor too soft. There are people who speak only for the people sitting in the first row. Speak clearly and make sure you are audible even to the people sitting on the last bench.

Dress appropriately. You just can’t afford to wear a tattered jeans and a T shirt while addressing your office people. They will never take you seriously.

Make the session interesting and interactive. Ask questions in between and do give time to your audience to ask questions and clear their doubts.

The venue, sound system, dais, lights also are important aspects of public speaking. Make sure you have a proper auditorium or a conference hall for addressing people where they can sit comfortably. Stand on an elevated platform where everyone can see you clearly.It helps.The microphone and other sound system must be in proper working condition.

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