Wednesday, April 25, 2018

8 Tips To Be A Good Speaker

It was always a torturous routine for me when I had to attend seminars on behalf of my office. It might sound like a nice escapade from office for one whole day from morning till late evening. I would get to enjoy the luxury hotel's ambiance with buffet food spread and free flow of beverages. I have had enough of those pain when it was often an all day torture trying to stay awake. I realised many speakers are not good speakers in reality. Have you ever been tortured by similar occasions? Some speakers could be so boring and dragged his speech like a sad funeral's eulogy while I had to use toothpicks to keep both my eyelids opened!



The Majlis of Petaling Jaya hosted this seminar at the roof top of a hotel and invited selected participants from various media companies in Klang Valley.




This important event was graced by the Datuk Bandar (Mayor) who started off with his opening speech. He is a good speaker and has natural charms & humour. It was the first time there is a safety awareness seminar after seeing too many fatal accidents and careless mishaps that happened in the year 2017. They shared many real live videos of shocking accidents that were often due to human's negligence and oversight which could be prevented. Overall, I truly benefited tremendously from the safety awareness they have shared.





The all day event saw several speakers taking the rostrum to deliver their speeches. Some spoke too softly and one spoke all the way in Bahasa Malaysia using his slangs at top speed. Many of us including me could not catch what he rambled at the top of his voice yet no one raised their hands. The last speaker was simply the best because he was just so different and prompted me to blog it: 

1. He constantly made sure that his loud and clear voice was being heard by all the audience.
2. He made eye contacts with everyone and smiled warmly.
3. He frequently walked up and down the aisle between the tables which made the audience swing their heads away from sleepiness. It was a head swing exercise for us.
4. In between, he would scream suddenly and jolted everyone up to wake up.
5. He would frequently swing, raise and pound both his hands. Those little actions made the session fully alive.
6. He spoke precisely and delivered all his important points of safety measures.
7. He got all the audience to participate and interact in individual group discussions.



The individual group's meeting session made all the participants to get to know each other which broke the ice. They had to document all the minutes and email directly to the council, just like a real life interaction. A good practice!




How would you rank yourself as a Public Speaker? I would hoot my own trumpet that many people had applauded me as a stand up comedian instead, which in other words I am a confident and brave speaker who blabs all nonsense only. Relatives and friends would love to swarm around my table during wedding dinners and gatherings just to hear my mouth uttering the most juiciest gossips and scariest tales from the crypt. Anyway that doesn't label me as a Great Speaker at all. I am just brave and confident due to my upbringing. I went up to my school's stage to deliver my story telling at the young age of 8. From then on, I went on stage to deliver pantuns, poetry and grandmother stories until 12 years old when I directed my own "Graveyard Horrors" drama which received thunderous laughter & applause from the audience at my school. It was a very silly drama that drew so much laughter instead because my pontianak came running out with my mother's bed sheet over his body. That was my childhood history.

During my advertising studies, I had one semester of Business Presentation class that made me a wreck and gave me sleepless nights just days before I had to speak to a hall full of American students. I was the only Asian with chinky sharp eyes as they called. I had to speak behind the rostrum on certain given topic by the lecturer who would stand behind me throughout my presentations. I would be given marks scored from the evaluation after the toughest part where the American students would ask me the most nerve wrecking questions from other planets and universe. Phew! I would suffer instantly from fever and cold sweats but I survived always. I have successfully spoken many times at the various big property developer's companies during the open tender presentations after getting valuable tips from my ex Hong Kong boss.



This is my own 
8 Easy Tips For Public Speaking:

1. Start With A Bang - Even the most experienced speakers would still get cold sweaty palms and jitters. Drink some really warm water before you deliver your speech. Start off your lines with some entertaining topics to calm yourself with mild jokes like pointing out to the bad traffic or weather that morning.

2. Practice Makes Perfection - Read through your prepared notes many times and practice by talking aloud inside a room with a mirror to reflect your actions. This method would definitely assist you to eventually discard your stage frights.

3. Don't Memorize Your Lines - Write out your full script and practice reading the outlines many times. Do not read out your speech word-for-word which is a total failure.

4. Avoid Filler Words - Many local speakers had the habits of using words like "aah", "lah" , "errr", "hmmn" and the list goes on. That is terrible and should be avoided at all costs as the audience expects the speakers to speak flawless without grammatical errors and filler words.

5. Practice To Articulate - Speak loud and very clear with your lips moving. Do not mumble and stammer. The audience would give you Zero score in the evaluation sheet if they could not hear or understand you.

6. Dress Well To Impress - Wear smart attires that makes you very comfortable. Try to avoid wearing gaudy and shocking colours with big prints that could make you look like a clown instead. I would avoid using perfumes too as some people could have allergies or dislike my choice of fragrance.

7. Make Audience Work Their Brains - Prepare your speech with good topics that is new, interesting, unique and beneficial to the audience. When they start writing down all the notes and points taken from your public speaking, that shows you are on the right track.

8. Video Yourself - We have smartphones with sophisticated features today. Use it to video yourself while you speak and deliver your topics after many practices. Review the videos and it would give you better confidence as you progress by improving all your shortcomings. It would be helpful if your colleague could observe your practice and point out all areas for improvement.


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36 comments:

  1. Last time while waiting to enroll into college, my dad requested me to sign for Intensive English course. I was assigned to a class whereby every Friday we had to do public speaking. Of course, I was very nervous for the first time but slowly I used to it. When I entered into college, I always selected by my lecturers to join public speaking and even pidato.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your dad is so wise and far sighted to request for you to sign up the Intensive English course. Just one enrollment and it would last you for a whole lifetime to shape your future. I am hopeless at pidato as I have no patience to argue the facts. You must be a talented speaker today. Have you got any tips to share??

      Thank you.

      Delete
  2. thank you for tips that would be useful to all of us to know. i'm a bad public speaker cos i mumble a lot (so your number 5 tip applies very much to me) - even in conversations in friends, people can't always catch some of the words i say. so i'm not a good candidate for giving a speech, heheh :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean you are just too humble. I find it hard to believe that you claimed to have speaking problems. You have met so many people and interviewed all the Chef Gurus and Restaurant bosses in order to post into your fabulous blog! I want to interview you soon and stalk you at your barber shop. LOL

      Thank you.

      Delete
  3. When will you be giving a talk, I want to go and listen to your talks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You kidding me. I just told the world that I am not a great speaker yet except telling juicy gossips and ghost stories. Are you interested to listen? Buy me dinner please. Hee Hee

      Thank you.

      Delete
  4. Hi! Your tips are interesting. These days,I have no chance to make a speach in front of many listeners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Konnichiwa Saito-San. You are a retired and happy man today. You must have spoken a lot during your business tenure days. I must learn from you when i visit Tokyo again.

      Thank you

      Delete
  5. Good tips and very informative, although there's the slightest chance I'll ever be a public speaker .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When there is a will, there is a way. Why do you need to speak when you are always traveling non stop like a bird???

      Thank you

      Delete
  6. It's important for one to know the subject that one is talking about .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I have heard of speakers who spoke irrelevant topics after getting swayed away. I forgot that the best speaker I have heard was Yasmin Yusoff! She is fantastic with her beautiful & polished Queen's English.

      Thank you

      Delete
  7. Thanks for sharing the tips, they are very useful and informative.

    I second you when you said one can doze off listening to speech, I prefer speakers who can add in some humour to their speech so that it won't be so dry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have faced too many situations where I had to struggle to stay awake. Next time I must bring chewing gum and spicy gingers to eat. The organizers need to check and rehearse with the speakers before hand but I guess they did not. This is where they need to hire the Film Directors to teach them how to speak with correct postures.

      Thank you

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Hope you will share your tips too. When will you update your blog post?

      Thank you

      Delete
  9. Thanks for sharing but I think I have no chance to be a public speaker but will definitely show my girl as that she can learn something~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are the best mummy any child should have. Your daughter gets your best attention and food always. I believe she will grow up well and excel in her studies. Maybe you can enroll her to holiday camps where they teach simple drama actings.

      Thank you

      Delete
  10. Touch wood. Through my working life, no. LOL

    But we always look forward for chance to get out of the office

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually i enjoy the part about the individual group meeting . Coz then can get to know each other and also the leadership quality will appear

      Delete
    2. Me a speaker? are you kidding. I get stage frights

      Delete
    3. wei.... the system got problem ah...how come i long time no come your blog still consider as one of the top commenters geh?

      Delete
  11. I am very certain that you make a good speaker! You have many interesting anecdotes to share and will surely keep Ah Hong Chee wide awake. Some people have a natural ability to speak and they are not boring at all.

    ReplyDelete
  12. you nailed it! I'm an occasional speaker that delivers my trainings to mostly foreign clients. Indeed I practice all of the above, except the first one. My boss would kill me if I tell jokes to the clients! so normally I would just go with a light quiz as icebreaker. I envy some people who are natural speaker and can do it with ease.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think you should be a good speaker as you're naturally funny and would command the audience to listen to you. As for me, I don't know how I'd rank as a public speaker but I've done it before, both during my studies and at work. I did score great marks for my presentations (during my studies), so I'd think I'm a decent enough speaker...kekeke! ;) In one of my ex-companies, I've been called upon sometimes to present short (like 10-min) talks on motivational topics + I also participate in giving talks during employee orientation programs.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I attended many seminars as participants. It was ok but not looking forward to long hours. Tried hard to keep myself awake especially after been fed 3 -4 meals in the seminar!

    Never been a good speaker. I am a shy person. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kakakaka .. you had me at "speech like a sad funeral's eulogy ", TM. Made me laugh out loud! I believe you are a good speaker with your humour and down-to-earthness.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sudden scream eh... that's interesting. There's some really good pointers but what I think is the most important part is having a speaker who knows how to engage the audience and not just keep going and syok sendiri! HAHA

    ReplyDelete
  17. “….I had to use toothpicks to keep both my eyelids opened!” When you get drowsy while doing that, you could hurt around your eyes. Be careful.

    I should’ve known your tips when I was younger. Recently I have almost no opportunity of public speaking. I’m also inactive as a guide interpreter, too, but when I used to do, I started with a little joke or giving a quiz, like “What do you call a deer without eyes?” (“No idea?” Well, done, that’s the answer. I think you know why.) Before having an interview test to a national license, I practiced looking at me in the mirror, keeping smile as you wrote one of the tips. To show you’re confident and believe in yourself is important.

    Keep up your own nice public speaking filled with humors.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have a tendency to fall asleep at lectures and seminars and don't even bother with any tooth picks. Thanks for the tips but I don't think I will need them unless there is a speaker corner here like in Hyde's Park.

    ReplyDelete
  19. i think i'm decent. i realise that for me what works is crowd interaction. it's always a lot easier to get through something when it's an interactive session regardless of the subject matter.

    ReplyDelete
  20. These are very good tips you shared. I'll take note of them as I can get nervous and jittery in front of a crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I enjoy listening to good speakers but I’ll probably faint first before speaking in public. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  22. During my final presentation for my research project, one of the examiners told me that I had a talent for speaking extremely fast. Not sure whether that was something positive! Hahaha. But yeah, I hate monotonous speakers and those that speak for way too long!

    ReplyDelete

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