Can You Hear Me? Public Speaking Techniques for Video Conferencing
Speaking in front of hundreds or even thousands of people can feel like a nightmare for many people. While stage fright is a real concern, delivering a speech via video conferencing can ease the feelings of nervousness that comes with presenting on an actual stage. Whether you’re giving a speech online or offline, we’ve outlined five standard “public speaking” techniques to remember:
- Eye Contact – This is the most important element of delivering a speech or presentation. Make sure to acknowledge your audience by looking directly into the camera. You want them to feel as though you’re having a conversation with them by talking “with” them not “at” them. This increases your chances of your audience being engaged and decreases the likelihood of them falling asleep.
- Loud & Clear – Projection is key. When speaking over a mic, you want your message to be distinctly heard. Three things to keep in mind are tone, pitch and volume. You want your audience to understand what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Do diaphragmatic breathing exercises beforehand to minimize feelings of anxiety that can cause your voice to tremble or sound low. Similarly, speaking from your diaphragm will help project your voice even further if you do not have access to a mic.
- Body Language & Gestures – You don’t want to appear as though you rolled out of bed five minutes before the speech. Plant your feet, keep your back straight, and use expressive gestures throughout the presentation. The audience can tell if you’re slouched over, which will serve as a major distraction. Using hand gestures to demonstrate your point will also help keep your audience engaged.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Practice makes perfect. Use your laptop to record yourself and replay it to see how you can improve. Go the extra mile by asking colleagues, friends, or family to provide feedback by acting as mock attendees. This will ensure you’re prepared and confident during your presentation.
- Slow Down – Talking fast is a sign of nervousness. Make sure to take pauses between thoughts and sentences to give your audience time to absorb the information. People often take notes during presentations and this also gives them time to digest your message. Additionally, it demonstrates your ability to control and articulate your thoughts.