Public speaking is typically a skill that takes time and practice to perfect. But, there are a few ways you can instantly add a boost to your talks — and these tips come straight from some of the best TED Talks. An Inc. article shares 20 public-speaking tips that can instantly improve your speaking and presentation skills. Below are a few highlights to get you started:
Always give the audience something to take home. No, the article doesn’t literally mean you should physically give something to the audience. It’s instead referring to an idea, an action — anything valuable that audience members can apply to their own lives.
Don’t defer questions. If a question pops up during your presentation, pause and take it. Look at the question as an opportunity. “If you would have addressed it [the question] in a later slide, skip ahead. (If you’ve practiced skipping around, it won’t throw you.) The best presentations feel like conversations, even if one-sided, so never ignore the opportunity to foster that sense of interaction,” according to the article.
Ask a question you can’t answer. Sometimes speakers ask audiences questions and it can feel forced. Instead, ask the audience a question that they likely can’t answer. Then, admit that it’s one you can’t answer either and move on to one that you CAN answer. “Most speakers have all the answers,” the article points out. “The fact that you don’t — and are willing to admit it–not only humanizes you but makes the audience pay greater attention to what you do know.”
These are just three examples of how you can easily inject more interest into your talks. Consider how you can add these TED-tested tips into your next presentation.