There’s a perpetuating myth that people are either born with good public speaking skills, or ill-fated as a poor public speaker. In fact, much of what constitutes a good public speaker can be learned. Here, we’ve generated a list of public speaking tips that can be used specifically for webinars, with a focus on using your voice to connect and further engage your audience. Fully captivating your audience is a skill that can be slowly developed from years of experience but you can use the following eleven public speaking tips that will instantly improve your presentation and put you on the right track.
Webinar Speaking Tip #1: Have Water Close By.
Beginning with the most obvious tip, but often one that is overlooked – water is crucial to the mind and body’s well-being. Staying hydrated is integrally associated with high brain function – improving awareness, memory and focus. Water will also come in handy with an unexpected urge to cough or a scratchy throat. Don’t forget to keep a glass of water nearby before you present your webinar.
Webinar Speaking Tip #2: Clearly State your Content & Don’t Read a Script
Reading directly off a script will not captivate or give you the ability to make a personal connection with your audience, since script-readers can be easily spotted/heard and often lack the candor of someone speaking directly to an audience. Optimally, a speaker should display that they are fully knowledgeable about their content and are able to seamlessly elaborate or go further into detail, when needed. Make sure you clearly define the content on each topic you present, understand when to speak more on a subject, and know when it’s time to move on. With that in mind, be careful not to surpass the predetermined length of time for your webinar, since going over-time usually causes the audience to drop off.
Webinar Speaking Tip #3: Avoid Up-speak & Learn to Speak with Authority.
Upspeak or high-rising intonation, is a common public speaking mistake. Upspeak is the habit of ending every sentence in the form of a question. Lowering the pitch of your voice, as you end a sentence, will assert more authority in your voice.
Try Practicing by saying “We’re experts in the industry” using these three methods:
1. an upturn in pitch near the end of the sentence (e.g. when you ask a question)
2. no change in pitch near the end of the sentence (e.g. keep it monotonal)
3. a downturn in pitch near the end of a sentence (e.g. the opposite of 1)
Notice a difference?
Webinar Speaking Tip #4: Comfort is Key
Will your cellphone go off? Will the sun be bothering you through the window? Are the people in your room going to distract you? Is your tie too tight, or are you wearing an itchy sweater? All of these distractions can have an effect on your voice. If you are uncomfortable, your voice will come off to an audience member as uncomfortable. You want to be as engaged and focused when speaking in a webinar, so be certain to keep the distractions to a minimum.
Webinar Speaking Tip #5: Smile!
Smiling is extremely contagious. It can be heard through your voice, and your webinar audience will be able to pick up on your excitement. Creating an atmosphere that associates positivity with your content, will result in a happy group of viewers. Smile and show off those pearly whites!
Webinar Speaking Tip #6: Use Exaggerations in your Tone
Especially in a webinar, it is important to use exaggerations in your tone. Using mild exaggerations in your voice can make a lasting impact on,your webinar audience.. With some practice, you’ll find it is hard not to be intrigued by your content. Being overtheatrical is quite difficult to accomplish; You may think you are over exaggerating and may want to tone it down, but your audience mostly likely hears a speaker that is passionate, engaging and energetic!
Webinar Speaking Tip #7: Take your Time
Speaking slowly is important if the audience is going to absorb all of your content. When speaking too quickly, the audience will become disengaged as they cannot keep up with the pace of your voice. Also, speaking slowly asserts authority, as it allows you to be firm and concise. Since webinars can be viewed world-wide, and English may not be the native language of some audience members, make sure to pause and take your time, so your audience will be able to digest everything they have heard.
Webinar Speaking Tip #8: Record yourself to catch your irregular speech habits.
Leaving out common speech quirks like “umm” and “annnd” will portray that you are articulate and well spoken. Record yourself or call a friend, and try and kick this habit. Replace those verbal ticks with pauses, and you will sound much more intelligent.
Webinar Speaking Tip #9: Don’t slouch, try Speaking from your Diaphragm and take Deep Breaths
Sitting or standing straight will improve your breathing and more easily allow you to take deep breaths, thus improving your voice. The benefits of taking deep breaths are numerous, and will only improve your public speaking. Taking deep breaths release tension, allowing you to relax. Nervous speakers usually tense and speak from their throat. By taking deep breaths and speaking from your diaphragm, your voice will be louder and more confident. Take slow deep breaths through your nose, before speaking. Having more oxygen in your body will make you more relaxed and a better speaker.
Webinar Speaking Tip #10: Love your topic – Use Emotion and Passion
Showing you are passionate, emotional and believe in your content, will leave your audience in awe. Speaking on emotive and passionate topics will naturally vary your intonation. When you are passionate about your topic, it is much easier for the audience to be captivated and fully engaged.
Webinar Speaking Tip #11: Have respect for your audience
Your audience is taking time out of their busy lives to give you their attention, so don’t waste it! Closely tied with Webinar Speaking Tip#10, make sure you are fully prepared and truly passionate about what you are talking about, as anything less, will be just a waste of their time. If you are passionate and emotional in your voice and on your topic and fully prepared, you will certainly have an awe-inspiring performance.
Do you have any tips you like to share? Let us know in the comment section below. Are you interested in hosting a webinar? Make sure to contact us for more information.