Public Speaking Course:
On Stage Tips
You will practice during your public speaking course how to say one thing
to your audience while juggling numerous other
thoughts at the same time. You always need to be aware of
how you are delivering your material. You have to connect with your audience to convey
the message, and paint the picture in their minds with your words or even
just your actions, with broad brush strokes, or with fine highlights,
and subtle motions, to touch their heart, their mind, and their emotions.
Here are some tips from my public speaking course for when your on stage.
-- The larger the crowd, the larger and slower the gestures should
-- If you have a small crowd, or if you are videoconferencing, or on
television, use smaller gestures.
-- Work to eliminate distracting or nervous gestures, but do not kill
yourself to add new ones. They will take care of themselves and most
of the time they look affected.
-- Hold your hands behind your back during question-and-answer sessions
(don't overdo it).
-- Let your words trigger your actions. If you are counting, hold out
-- Avoid excessive clenched fists, pointing, hands in pockets, or hands
-- Avoid the infamous fig leaf position where your hands are crossed
in front of your groin.
-- Hold your hands open and wide apart to show sincerity and honesty.
-- If you say no, side to side shake your head no. Or if yes, then
nod your head up and down.
I know of a speaker who once sat behind a controversial
presidential nominee for the cabinet during a Senate confirmation hearing.
He was dressed as a Founding Father with a tri-corn hat. He smiled and shook
his head "Yes" when a good question was asked by a Senator,
but frowned and shook his head "No" when a Senator asked a
He sat in view of all the Senators and television cameras
intentionally where hundreds of thousands, or even
millions were watching in the audience. The "Founding Father" never
uttered a sound, but he "spoke" volumes. Head movements can
communicate a lot more than words. The Senators approved the nominee.
While awaiting ratification of the Constitution for the United States
of America, George Washington said:
"A greater drama is being acted on the American Stage than heretofore
has ever been acted in the world."
So when you are "on stage", my tip is to make your public
speaking performance a "greater drama" to move your audience
to joy or action.