A good and successful speaker must be aware two important things â€“ the content and structure of his speech.Â The speech must contain the right and relevant information and presented in a manner that sustains the hearerâ€™s attention. A successful speakeralso knows how much information the audience can absorb in one sitting without losing interest. The presentation must be cogent with a logical beginning and an appropriate ending. It must be sequenced and paced so that the audience truly enjoys the speech. The speaker must not digress too much and lose the main thrust of his speech.
The voice is probably the most valuable tool for any speaker. The listeners may have difficulty and feel uncomfortable hearing voices that are too fast, too loud, too soft, etc. A good speaker knows how to modulate his voice without changing the original nature of his voice. Experienced speakers lower their voice to draw the audience in, and raise their voice to stress a point. A voice that carries fear can frighten the audience, while a voice that sounds humorous can get the audience to smile and remain cheerful. Your body communicates different impressions to the audience. People not only listen to you, they also watch your body language. Adopting a good posture tells your audience that you know what you are doing and you care deeply about it. Also, a good posture helps you to speak more clearly and effectively.
If you fail to gesture while speaking, you may be perceived as a bit stiff and monotonous speaker. Instead a lively speaking style captures attention makes the speech more interesting, and facilitates better understanding. Smiling while speaking is a powerful method to transmit happiness and spread warmth. Smiling is also contagious and others will react favorably. They will be more comfortable around you and will want to listen to you more. Lean forward when speaking as it gives hearers the impression that you are receptive, and amiable. Interpersonal closeness results when you and your audience face each other. Speaking with your back turned or looking away from the audience should be avoided as it communicates disinterest. The main negative factors of a speaker can be diffidence and nervousness which can affect voice clarity, posture, and spontaneity. The voice begins to tremble, shoulders tighten up and legs start to shake and cause unsteadiness.
Always allow time at the end of the speech for listeners to raise questions. After inviting questions, do not rush ahead if no one asks a question. Pause for a while to allow the audience to regroup their thoughts. When a question is asked, repeat the question to ensure that everyone hears it and also to make sure you heard it right. When answering, direct your remarks to the entire audience and not merely to the questioner. Answers that last up to 40 seconds work best. If they are too short, they seem abrupt; while long answers appear too elaborate.
If you are invited to deliver special speeches or keynote addresses, then you need to take time to prepare. Speeches, on such occasions, must follow a format â€“ and preferably contain interesting anecdotes, pleasant humor, quotations etc to sustain audience interest.Â Most of us are aware of the power of an audience. It is often a frightening experience when looking at of several pairs of eyes looking at us expectantly and in silence.Â It takes a little courage, but the rewards are enormous. Whether you are managing a business, heading an institution or running a home, you need leadership qualities to excel.Â Once you are able to see what others expect of you, then you can move on to developing all essential skills of leadership such as good communication skills, gift of expression, ability to think spontaneously, sense of humor, compelling presence etc.