In this article, I will share my experience with public speaking.
Note: I have always been a shy person with a fear of public speaking.
But working for the Disneyland Resort has slowly made me more comfortable speaking to crowds of people. And I can see the difference when I step up in front of my college courses to do presentations.
(Before you would hear the nervousness in my voice and feel the awkwardness in my body language.)
But here, I have provided you all with five easy tips to remember while publicly speaking!
First, take a big breath before speaking.
I have found that taking a deep breath before each spiel at work has helped make my voice sound a lot less shaky. Starting with your message without taking a deep breath first will make you sound rushed and nervous.
Taking a breath between different talking points will help you slow down your speech and help the audience track what you are talking about.
And it will help settle your nerves and help prevent the feeling of passing out.
Smile while talking
I have found that smiling while speaking has made a massive difference in how I emanate the message.
It will help you sound upbeat and happy to be there; compared to having a relaxed or even tense face, they will give the audience a monotone or panicked message.
Talk to the audience, not at the audience.
In my experience, I have found that there’s a big difference when you are just straight to the point talking at the audience to get the message straight.
There’s no connection in the audience’s brain when you just give them the message and then leave. They will quickly forget what you said; they could have been zoning out, on their phone, or settling down in their seat.
For example, at work, when I would talk at the audience and tell them to exit through the right-hand side if they need to leave during the show, most who need to go will completely ignore that statement and leave through the doors on the left, which is a safety hazard.
When you talk to the audience, they will be fully engaged in what you say because you will first ask them a question or participate in an easy movement.
For example, when I talk to the audience at work, I start with engagement; I’ll ask “if they’re excited about the show?” or “they’re having a magical day?”.
You will get a reaction that will lead them engaged to what you have to say next.
Another example is that I will keep in mind the demographic of my audience and relate to them.
The demographics I work with are Disney lovers, so I will add a short Disney song to my spiel to connect to the message.
One great example is when I sing “We’re all in this together” when I talk about the importance of mask-wearing.
I know this is a given, but I can’t tell you how often I have mispronounced or slur words together while talking to the audience just because I am nervous.
Mispronouncing and slurring words will add to the nervousness and make you feel embarrassed while publicly speaking.
Enunciating can go back to breathing and how taking deep breaths can help you catch yourself from rushing and calm you down from being nervous.
Understand the message!
Another critical tip is to understand what you are saying ultimately.
When I first started speiling at work, I had 5 minutes to learn a whole spiel before going on stage. And trust me, just reading straight off a paper with a blank mind is not the move.
You will just read through with no pauses, mispronunciations, and without audience engagement.
I also set myself up for failure in high school and when I did class presentations at the beginning of college.
.I would wait till the last minute to write down my speeches on an index card and just read off the card in class. Nobody knew what I was talking about. Take your time and understand what message you want to give the audience, is it informative, funny, urgent, etc...
In conclusion, have fun while learning your own public speaking technique!
At work, I love listening to all of the different cast members’ spiel; they all have their way of engaging with guests and getting their messages across.
Even though we all share the same messages with the same guest, we all sound different and impact people’s experiences differently.