1. Talk as slow as you possibly can. Almost everybody talks very fast when they get nervous or put in front of a crowd. Even if it seems like you are talking ridiculously slowly, to everyone else it will sound clear and articulate so your audience can really understand and take in what you are saying.
2. Despite what is commonly said, saying “um” is not a bad thing. It gives a pause to what your saying, it helps with flow and it gives you a quick second to compose your thoughts and remember what you have to say next.
3. Try making a point of looking at each and every audience member in the eye during your talk. This will let your audience know that you are engaged in the conversation.
4. Know your craft. The more you know about your topic, the less likely you are to read off cards or a powerpoint, which is disengaging to your audience.
5. Make sure your topic is one that fits the type of event and the type of audience you are speaking to. Speaking about the importance of exercising at an event where people came to learn about social media will not endear people to engage in and listen to your talk.
6. Be relatable. Tell a joke, talk about a recent story in the news that relates to your topic. Talk about a story that happened to you that got you to where you are now. Your audience wants to connect with you and your story, and if they do, they will be more interested in what you have to say.
7. Practice, practice, practice. This one seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people decide to just wing it, or quickly practice once or twice the night before. Practice your speech as much as you need to say it with ease and confidence.
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