Any manager has some element of public speaking among their duties.
You might be holding a one-to-one meeting with a staff member for disciplinary, development or assessment purposes, requiring the delivery of some important information.
You might be presenting the morning shift briefing, chairing a meeting or cascading some information or training to a small group of staff.
You might be speaking to a large group of employees at conference or an emergency meeting.
Whether the audience consists of one person, several or many, the same principles apply:
- Know your stuff as well as possible in advance
- Gain and keep control over your breathing
- Achieve a poised, graceful posture – you’ll feel more comfortable and convey physical confidence and status
- Slow down and use a variety of pace and delivery, to help keep their interest
- Pay attention to your consonants – these carry clarity, authority and status
- Cultivate an air of confidence, which suggests attention to detail and thoughtfulness
- Stop speaking if you are looking at a flipchart or powerpoint slide – if you speak with your face turned away from the audience, your vocal presence and personal impact will drop and you’ll lose them
- Make eye contact and speak directly to them, not to your notes – bullet points and keywords rather than a full script will help