The art of holding on to people's attention through speech is called public speaking. For many, this art remains a fear, attributable to the lack of confidence. Oratory silks need to be finely honed, to capture the audience. Needless to say, 'practice makes a man perfect'. Practicing the matter you are presenting, the language and the style in which you will be presenting it, will go a long way in making you a good public speaker. The other important thing to be considered while conducting a public speech is the demographics. In order to appeal to the crowd, the speaker must know to whom he is addressing.
Mind over Matter
It is the matter which matters! Put your mind to the matter and it will keep you in line with the relevance of the subject. Irrelevant talking makes the audience lose interest. A catch in relevant talking lies in how much significance you give to the subject. It is suggested that matter content in the public speech should be 7% and first point should be made in the first few minutes itself. A surprising statistic, but let's face it, we don't like it when someone gets preachy. Another reason for less importance to matter is that, getting into the details of anything really gets boring and inscrutable sometimes. The key is to keep the audience hooked.
Mind Your Language
Language usage is the basis of this public form of communication. Poorly developed language skills become the biggest hindrance for the speaker. Working on accents, pronunciations, stress of specific words, diction, intonation and pace are the keys that all great public speakers have. It is also essential for the speaker to have a control over the voice and the language. Incorrect use of phrases and bad vocabulary will only render in frivolous entertainment for the audience, at the expense of the speaker. The language also has another connotation, that of body language. The gestures, histrionics, eye contact and postures speak volumes on the speaker in question.
It is not necessary that the speaker should be dressed in the best of brands. What matters is his detailed attention to the soft skills. Soft skills refer to a cluster of personality traits, like the ability to communicate, social graces, personal habits and friendliness. These bring out the best in the speaker and leave behind an effective impression.
Knock Their Socks off
Exercising the aforementioned skills is a mandatory thing for all public speakers. For better public speaking, tape your rehearsal performance. This way you will know the changes that are needed to make the speech more effective. If possible see the recorded tapes of the speeches that great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, and Hitler have made. Ask a friend or colleague to hear you out and to evaluate the performance. There may be a few tongue twisters in the drafted speech. Getting them right won't be a problem, if you recite them a couple of times.
With religious commitment to these exercises, you will be able to rule the roost at any event. 'Interactivity' is better than a 'monologue'. So involve the audience by asking them to answer questions or making them sing along or even listening to their queries. A personal element to the speech always makes the public and the speaker connect. Begin with the humorous anecdote, so as to lighten up the mood. The better art of public speaking comes, when the speaker knows that he is speaking for the public and not for himself.