On this blog, we've talked about how to BECOME a public speaker and how to be MORE CONFIDENT on stage as a public speaker...
What we haven't discussed, is how to be more EFFECTIVE as a public speaker.
Keep in mind that "effective" is the keyword here.
What does it mean to be effective?
In a nutshell, the word "effective" means being successful in producing a desired or intended result.
In other words, being "effective" refers to being able to produce the outcome you want in something.
With that being said, what does being "effective" mean for you as a public speaker?
It's one thing to get on stage and just say a bunch of words to your audience...
However, it's another thing to say these words and have it all mean something to them.
Being able to get on stage and say a bunch of words to an audience is OK. But actually, being able to produce the desired outcome or result you want while you’re on stage is a whole other thing entirely.
More important than being able to get up there and talk for hours is being able to connect with your audience... impact them, and get them to change their lifestyle, habits, or mindset because of the words you spoke to them.
That, exactly, is what I'm here to help you do today. I'm going to give you five of the most powerful ways to become a more effective public speaker:
I'll show you how to be a public speaker who not only speaks mere syllables but speaks meaningful, impactful words that resonate with any audience.
Sound good? Let's jump right in!
Step # 1
As always, I picked my #1 tip with purpose.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret today:
"Passion can be felt."
What do I mean by this?
When you speak passionately and from the heart about something, your words are guaranteed to be inspiring to other people.
Speaking from the heart touches people. It excites them and helps them feel what you feel in the moments when you speak.
It doesn't matter whether you're live on stage at an event or if you're on a YouTube video. The point is that passion can be felt through a TV screen as easily as it can be felt in person, across an event hall.
My suggestion to you is to speak with passion whenever you get up on stage or have to address an audience. Because doing this makes you more effective at getting your message across.
One of the ways I like to be sure that I'm speaking with passion is to first 'feel' the impact of what I'm about to say. Once I've felt the impact of my own words, it becomes easy to let them come out. Because how do you expect your audience to feel the impact of your words if you don't first feel them yourself?
You should absolutely try this out and see if it works for you as it is guaranteed to.
But while we're at it, we should consider...
Step # 2
Practice The Art Of Storytelling
The art of storytelling is almost as old as humanity itself. From as far back as we can remember, humans have passed down stories from generation to generation.
To tell, hear, or be part of a story is, in essence, to be human.
When you were young, and you were getting tucked into bed, you probably enjoyed a story or two before the lights went out.
You've also been a part of this storytelling culture with the movies you watch. Because all a movie is, is a story.
Storytelling and being able to enjoy a good story are hardwired into us as humans.
If you want to be effective at communicating to your audience, one of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of this part of human nature and become a storyteller.
There's a reason storytelling is so effective: Storytelling takes your audience on a journey with you. And when your audience is on this journey with you as their pilot, they can uncover things along the way.
On journeys like these, your audience can uncover realities, lessons, tactics, and even tips that they can then go on and apply to their own lives.
Storytelling with an audience is an adventure. It is a good way to communicate ideas.
As opposed to saying, "here's a fact," you could say, "let me tell you a story," and then embed the lessons and tips you want your audience to learn inside the story.
Doing this gives your audience a chance to uncover your message in a way that resonates with them as individuals, as opposed to having you do things for them or spoon-feed them.
The truth of the matter is this...
The most effective public speakers use storytelling as a tool, and you should as well.
Step # 3
There's a general rule of thumb concerning writing, speaking, or teaching.
In simple terms, the rule is this:
"If you can communicate an idea in a hundred words, then don't use two hundred."
Does this make sense?
The more succinct you are as a public speaker, the more clear and concise your message will be. And a clear, meaningful message, as we both know, is a highly effective one.
Do you want great examples of succinct messages and how effective they can be?
Go watch Ted Talks.
Ted talks are all relatively short, so being succinct isn't something speakers can bargain their way around. In Ted Talks, speakers have a relatively short small window to get their message across, so they have to get straight to the point.
I'd suggest that you google and try to pick a pointer or two about how to be succinct with your message.
Step # 4
Engage Your Audience And Connect With Them On An Individual Basis
I learned this back when I was a TaeKwonDo instructor:
One day, my instructor came up to me and said, "Devon, remember that when you’re teaching, you're not talking to a class. You're talking to a 'group of many one persons'" (see how I used storytelling to paint a picture there?).
What he was trying to get me to understand was that an audience or crowd (or, in this case, a class, isn't just an "amorphous blob" of people.
When you speak to an audience or a crowd, you're speaking to an individual who just happens to be sitting amongst other individuals.
This is one of The things I want you to remember when you speak to an audience.
If you want to be a more effective public speaker, you have to be able to connect to the "individual" rather than the crowd.
A good way to do this is to remember this top…
"To connect with many, connect with one."
This is one of my favorite sayings.
What it means is that often, the most effective way to connect with an entire audience is to pick out ONE person in the audience and connect with them individually. And that by doing this, you end up not just communicating with that ONE person, but you actually end up communicating with the entire audience because the audience can SEE themselves in that one person you’re talking to.
For more tips, click here: How to Engage Audience [Top 11 Tips]
Step # 5
Practice Saying Things In Different Ways
Have you ever had the experience where someone tells you something one way, and you don’t get it... but when they rearrange the words or say it a different way, it finally “clicks”?
This is what I’m talking about when I say to practice saying things in different ways.
Communication is about sending and receiving messages. The key to communication is to make sure that what you’re sending is the same as what’s being received.
Sometimes your message can make perfect sense when it is being sent (i.e., being “said”)... yet that same message will make zero sense when it’s being received (i.e., being heard).
One of the ways to make sure that what you’re saying is being reviewed properly is to gauge audience response. The way to do this is to say things a certain way one time when you’re in front of a group... and then the next time you’re in front of a group, say the same thing... but differently.
At the end of the day, pick and go with whichever method got the best response from the audience. Because the way your audience receives your message is arguably the most important part of the communication process.
Remember, what matters most of all is not the things you say, how you say them, or what you intend to say… but rather how what you say is received/heard by your audience.
And oh yeah, one more important note about saying things in different ways…
An awesome way to say things differently is to simply include words, pictures, charts, and even stories. Often, using a graph, an analogy, or a metaphor not only shortens explanation time but makes things 100X clear for your audience!
Effective speakers put their audience’s understanding above their own preferences every... single... time.
Effective Public Speaking: The Wrap-Up
There you have it. 5 tips to help you on your journey to becoming a more effective public speaker. They are:
I hope that these tips on effective public speaking help you. And if even one of them puts you on the fast track to becoming a more effective public speaker and getting your message across in a way that better impacts your audience, then HIGH-5!
Before You Go
If you're looking to REALLY level up your public speaking, click the link below and check out our zero-to-hero public speaking course.