I am conversational – I just like to engage and talk about things. – Caroline Rhea
Have a Conversation
We all know how painful it is to watch someone deliver a speech either that has been scripted or that they have memorized word for word. The speaker sounds stiff, dry and unnatural and is frankly usually quite boring to listen to.
At one point or another in our lives, we have all been that speaker whether it was during a high school speech or a presentation in our professional career.
How do we go from being that uncomfortable, awkward speech reader to an eloquent speaker that people actually like to listen to? One of the best ways to accomplish this is to practice your speech with a friend in the tone of a conversation.
Why it Works
Giving a speech that engages people takes hard work. It is unnatural to be natural when it comes to public speaking. For this reason, you need to start practicing your speech in front of your friends and family in a conversational mode.
Write an outline of your main points and just start talking to them as if it were a normal conversation. First of all, you will have a safe place to practice without all the pressure that will make you nervous, and you can get constructive feedback on your presentations. You can gauge how well they like your content by their body language. If they look bored and are looking around the room, then it’s probably not so good. If they are nodding, smiling and looking you in the eye, then you are on the right track.
Also, your friends can help you with the planning of your speech and can also point out if something is lacking or needs revising. For instance, maybe there was a point that could have been added to your speech that would be beneficial or something that could be cut out as it was somewhat off topic.
Stay open to suggestions and remember that more feedback you get, the better. Some of the best speeches are really crafted by an entire team of people and hours of work. After you get close to your final draft, relentlessly practice your speech in conversation mode, you will feel more relaxed about your topic and will deliver a more natural speech.
When you give a speech in a conversational mode, you become more believable and more likable. It puts you and the audience more at ease. In the video, How to Sound Natural When Giving a Speech, Bonnie Gross gives pointers on how to deliver your presentation with ease.
You also become more confident and you will start speaking from the heart and not from the script. You want to be authentic and not come across as a robot regurgitating a typed up speech. If you are not getting the feedback or response that you would like from your audience, I urge to stop reading speeches and have a conversation.
So what do you think? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.