Being an orator has never been easy. Has it? It takes much sensibility to draw the line between delivering a message and not a lecture. An orator is no lecturer. The question is who is an orator? Is an orator someone who delivers an oration? Very much that and someone who is eloquent and skilled in public speaking. From Julius Caesar to Barack Obama and many more in between, brilliant orators have had the benefit of luring the public making the whole act of it work in their interest. Enlisted are a few tips to being a brilliant orator:
10. Be Sorted
Yes, you read that right. Being sorted is good- not just with organizing stuff in your bedroom but also delivering a message in public. You should have a point to stick on. You should take care that you do not deviate from the topic a lot of times, or maybe even once to never return. Your speech should be focused. You should have a clear idea of what you want to convey and preferably it should be something you feel about. Your papers should be sorted. Your mind too should be organized and clear about what topic to approach when. That is the first step towards being an interesting orator rather than a boring lecturer.
9. Prepare in Advance
I know about constraints of time but preparing in advance always helps. Your script should be ready- a rehearsal or two won’t harm. A speech that has an impact when read in mind might not always be as powerful when spoken. And have you not rehearsed in advance you might just get nervous on the stage when the speech fails to garner interests of the audience. The best way to go about it is by recording yourself and listening to it. Think rationally-If you want to forward through your own piece of speech why would someone else wish to sit through it without yawning and groaning.
8. Believe your Words
Believe what you are saying. If you do not, no one will. They will see that issue/ topic/ matter through your perspective. Your approach to it will decide their sensitivity to it. If you speak about it for the sake of speaking it they would listen to you for the sake of listening to it. If it does not reflect in you it will definitely not stir any emotions in your listeners. Superficial speaking only makes any speech boring for the listeners. When you believe in it, you will want others to believe in it too and to make them believe in it you will have to make them believe in you.
7. Maintain a posture
If you are standing there, you are in certain authority and post of it. Make it appear like you are. A slouched back impresses none. Maintain a posture that suits your persona. It should reflect why you are in an authority to speak. Your posture decides if you come across as the respectable orator. Fidgeting hands in pockets are too student like. You would appear to be a novice. A few in the audience will doze off, few will try their best to pay attention, few others will play critics and all others will mock and maybe imitate long after you have gone.
6. A ‘Preaching’ no
Do not preach. Do not beg of them to believe in you. Do not ask them to listen to you. That only creates an impression of you being unsure of whether your speech would get the desired effect. Leave it upon them to decide if they want to listen to you. Your speech should be the deciding factor, not anything else. If your words move them, you have emerged a winner.
Narrate a story to illustrate your point. Stories always capture interest more effectively than plain vague prose or statements. Also, tell a story you have experienced for then you would be more into the conversation and when you are more involved your listeners will be more involved too. No bargains there. Also stories are more memorable and hence would keep providing a reminder of your message. Take care though that your story is not too long or something that disrupts the flow of your speech. Also your story should be narrated as though it is being staged. The story should also have some relevance to the topic you are speaking on.
4. Humour it all
To be a brilliant orator one thing you must work on is your sense of humour. If you cannot present the most serious of issues with a twist of humour you might not seem interesting enough. Learn how to capture your audience’s interests. Also using self-depreciating humour is always a better option for you would not offend anyone. Surely there is something funny to tell about you. Maybe even some habit which is an obstacle in your daily routine. Be friendly and easy to approach. Have a conversation instead of a lecture. A dialogue would be much preferred to a monologue.
3. Eye to Eye
Build an eye contact with your listeners. It will have more impact. Making eye contact does not mean staring. That will make listeners uncomfortable under your gaze. Eye contact can come in three forms: Direct, Broad sweep and a distant gaze. Make your words suit the eye contact. Aim statements towards your listeners when maintaining an eye contact.
One of the most important aspects to being a good public speaker is your expression and tone modulation. Gradually modify your tone to suit your words. Try throwing your words with your breath. Breathing enhances the throw of your voice and prevents you from racing through your speech. You might raise your voice one second and whisper the next but take care that your expressions and actions suit your tone. You should not have a blank expression ever and your hands should be busy in trying to explain and not fidgeting in your pocket. Do not shout. Do not fire your words. Aim them like an arrow to reach the spot you aimed.
1. Be Confident
Confidence is the key to being an orator. You might have mispronounced a word. Pay no heed. You might correct yourself but without showing nervousness. Nervousness tends to be the biggest low to your speech. Speak confidently, throw your voice into the microphone and avoid mumbling and fidgeting. Smiling helps too. Smile where you felt you went wrong and continue without remembering you went wrong at all. There might be questions aimed at you for which you are not too sure with answers- try using the confuse and convince way out. Let nothing get you nervous and you would be the star.
These and much more will make you a brilliant orator. I might sound superstitious but pray before you deliver the speech. Somewhere you get assured that everything would be alright. Keep sipping water and build up a conversation with the listeners. Also try to believe that everyone in the room has to pee urgently and your words need to stop them. You would definitely manage your tone better. Do not let anything obstruct your way to being the next Barack Obama, or better still, the first YOU.