Not everyone is going to have to do public speaking during their life time. However, if you are in the business field or work in an office job, you’ll most likely have some point in life where you’ll have to do some public speaking.
If you’re more of an extrovert, public speaking will not necessarily be a problem for you. If you’re an introvert, you’ll most likely completely dislike having to speak in public.
Recently, I read an article in the Costco Connection magazine, sharing some tips from Mike Michalowicz’s The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur blog. He explains some ideas on how to manage your fears to help yourself get better at public speaking. Mike is a comedian and his unique perspective on how to get through public speaking engagements was pretty interesting for me…simply because he had some ideas that were contrary to my own thought process on public speaking.
One of the tips he suggested was to help your audience to laugh and then cry and then laugh again.
“The most engaged audience needs to have a release (laughter) and a recovery (a moment of calmness) before the next release (laughing again).” Now that makes sense to me in regard to how a comedian tells jokes. People can’t have a continual moment of laughter throughout the entire show. It does make sense that they need to have this exchange of laughter, then calm, then laughter again. It is interesting for me to take this theory into public speaking. That means that bringing some humor into your public speaking can engage your audience and break the ice, while also relaxing you to continue with your public speaking engagement.
Another tip that he gives to help in your public speaking is to “just say no to PowerPoint.” Now as an introvert with a detailed oriented skill set leaning personality, using notes or a PowerPoint seems like a good idea for me. However, I can see why Mike suggests, not to utilize such a tool for your public speaking. His theory is that the audience may not be directing their attention on you while you’re speaking, but focusing on reading the screen. He further explains that a good technique is to use props, or tell stories or use detailed descriptions to draw the audience in to fully engage in the full experience of your public speaking event.
Mike’s tips were helpful and I encourage readers to check out the previously article mentioned, Not Just for Laughs, to learn more about his public speaking tips. One idea I’d like to throw out there is that each of us are different types of people and some of us, like extroverts, are naturally more inclined to public speaking, while us introverts are not.
That being said, it’s safe to say that public speaking should be a personal thing for you and you need to tailor your approach to what works best with your specific personality and skill set.