4 Tips for Speaking to an Audience

man speaking in front of the class
More often than not, public speaking is a dreaded activity that students do their best to avoid. It is often associated with negative emotions, such as embarrassment when a student makes a mistake, fear of being ridiculed by their peers in the aftermath, or simply nervousness at the idea of having all eyes on them as they make their speech or presentation. However, public speaking is an essential skill that will aid students during class or school presentations, as well as in their tertiary education and even the workplace, where speaking to an audience is commonplace. This article explores four different methods that our tuition centre in Singapore utilises to help students speak confidently.

Tip 1: Managing Nerves

image of a microphone on stage

Managing nerves is the first step in overcoming public speaking jitters, and students can do that with a combination of practical and psychological techniques. The most immediate and obvious step that your child can take is to familiarise themselves with the topic that they will be presenting on. For instance, if it's a show and tell about their favourite book, they should invest more time into knowing the book inside out. The more your child cares about the topic, the less likely they will make a mistake or go off tangent. Also, take some time to anticipate questions that the audience may have in order to have better responses prepared. Similarly, your child should also get organised ahead of time by carefully planning the order of the presentation and flow of information. With a clear plan in mind, it will be easier for them to stay anchored.

Proper breathing is also essential in managing nerves. Before stepping out onto the podium or in front of the class, encourage your child to take deep, slow breaths to calm themselves down and clear their mind. Here at LK Academy, we believe that public speaking should be taught at an early age, which is why our Primary English tuition in Singapore also comprises important public speaking and presentation exercises, giving our students the opportunity to practise in front of their peers.

Tip 2: Make Eye Contact

LK Academy

Another simple but effective public speaking technique is to make and sustain meaningful eye contact with your audience, building rapport with them and keeping them engaged with your presentation. While it's understandable that the natural instinct is usually to avoid eye contact out of nervousness, making a deliberate effort to do otherwise works wonders for your presentation — it establishes a connection with your audience, improves your concentration, helps you project authority and confidence, and facilitates engagement with the audience. Presentations become more formal as students advance in their education levels, and this is when professional public speaking techniques can really help transform the way students carry themselves. This is why our Secondary English tuition in Singapore places emphasis on public speaking on a more professional front, giving students the opportunity to use and master these public speaking techniques.  Ultimately, these help our secondary school students prepare their oral communication examinations and rise up to the challenge to face the examiner with confidence!

Tip 3: Use Assertive Body Language

using positive assertive body language whilst speaking

During public speaking and presentation, you aren't just speaking with words; your audience looks at the entirety of your body, from the eye contact you make, to the way your body postulates. Similar to the effect eye contact has on your audience, body language can influence the way your audience perceives you and by extension, the message you're trying to get across. To maintain an assertive or positive body language, practise making meaningful hand gestures to support your speech, take an open body posture to project confidence, avoid crossing your arms, and simply smile. Our Primary English tuition in Singapore teaches students the importance of body language as we believe that it should be encouraged and taught early on as students at that age pick up habits more easily.

Tip 4: Speak Concisely

student speaking confidently in front of the class

Ultimately, there's no avoiding the language itself when it comes to speaking confidently. It's all well and good to have a wide range of vocabulary, but the aim of public speaking is to formulate a message that is universally comprehensible. This requires a thorough understanding of your audience and what you think they want to hear; keeping your speech simple and concise; and refraining from using verbal tics. Effective usage of language can mean the difference between a good and bad speech, regardless of how good the content itself is. Here at our tuition centre in Singapore, our public speaking and presentation lessons build effective public speaking skills that will last them a lifetime.

For more information about our programmes and teaching methodologies, please visit our website.