Even for a seasoned life science researcher, keeping an audience engaged and alert can be challenging. Because of this, we’ve gathered ideas from the public and created a list of ways to keep your listeners engaged throughout your next speech or lecture. Here are some important “Dos and don’ts of public speaking” to keep in mind when giving a presentation.

They will help you get the most out of your time on stage. You may likely recall a moment when you could not concentrate while listening to a lecture or other presentation. As you struggle to keep your eyes open, you start to feel dizzy. You put forth every effort to avoid being the person in the front row who is caught in a never-ending cycle of head bobbing between wide awake and fast asleep. It’s a place we’ve all been.

This article will discuss the do’s and don’ts of public speaking, tips for preparing for public speaking, and how to do public speaking.

Following are the Do’s and don’ts of public speaking:

DO’s of Public Speaking:

1. Demonstrate your passion for your profession by being upbeat and upbeat about it

Keep your audience engaged in your study by becoming interested in it yourself. Make it clear that you care about your work and are raving about it. Keep your energy upbeat throughout your presentation so that the audience can feel your passion. Remember to smile and have a good time! The way you begin your speech can impact how your listeners perceive the remainder of it.

2. Don’t forget to connect with your audience

It’s critical to grab the audience’s attention right away throughout your presentation. Knowing your audience and what they care about is one method. As a result, you may talk about your subject in a way that engages people directly. You may also use stories to elicit an emotional response from your viewers. The use of stories may arouse your audience’s emotions and draw their attention to you as the speaker.

3. Don’t be afraid to get the people in the room involved

It’s challenging to keep your lecture exciting when you’re trying to engage the audience. Methods include connecting to the audience’s interests and delivering a tale. Another easy strategy is to arouse curiosity in the audience by posing a thought-provoking question, displaying attractive imagery, or providing a startling statistic. Other options include providing a handout or facilitating group conversations when there is time.

4. Make certain that the message on each slide is very clear

How many times have you seen a presentation with 30 slides and thought, “This could have been covered in around 10 slides instead?” This is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. Consolidate your ideas after you’ve prepared your presentation. Go through each slide and ask yourself what it’s trying to say. Consider changing or eliminating that slide if you can’t think of a primary theme. Adding extra slides to a presentation can make your audience feel like they are wasting their time listening to your talk.

5. Make good use of your time management skills

When a presentation is scheduled, one of my pet peeves is when it goes over schedule. Always keep in mind that your target audience has a limited amount of time and attention to give you. This means that you must respect your audience’s time by estimating how long your speech will last and how long your listeners are willing to put up with it. Practice your presentation, but don’t forget to leave time for questions after you finish your talk.

6. Define any unfamiliar terms for the audience

Use conversational words as much as possible to keep your audience up to date on the science involved in your research. Be prepared to use more complex words when discussing scientific subjects, so be sure to define any terms that your audience may not understand. Because of the curse of knowledge, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that other people are unfamiliar with the concepts behind your project.

When you suffer from the curse of knowledge, you fail to recognize the knowledge you have that others do not. This can lead to confusion and distraction for your audience. You should always define unfamiliar terms to be on the safe side.

Be aware of the knowledge gap when addressing an interdisciplinary group. In contrast to a biochemist, a developmental biologist may not have the same background in materials and procedures. Even something as straightforward as RT-PCR may be confusing to some people.

7. Don’t forget to incorporate animations into your speech

Animated transitions may be obtrusive when utilized incorrectly, but they can also serve as a nice break between ideas. To make bullet points display sequentially as people speak, one approach is to employ animation effects. As a result, the audience isn’t distracted by the long list of points you’re making as you talk about each one.

What Not to Do

1. Avoid going into too much detail about your procedures

Most consumers lose interest in a presentation during the techniques portion, according to our survey. When it comes to techniques and processes, they can be quite comprehensive and difficult to grasp in a short amount of time. Include just the information required to comprehend the project or to support your research’s findings. The rest of the sentence can be omitted. If someone wants a more in-depth explanation of your procedures, you can always point them to your paper.

2. The section on methods: 4 tips for a memorable methods section

I. Explain your actions, including what motivated you to take them. Explain to the audience the value of the steps you took and why you chose to do them in that order.

II. Explain the steps you took to achieve this. Demonstrate your interpretation of the data so that the audience may make their inferences.

III. Explain the significance of anything you’ve said. Tell your audience about the relevance and ramifications of the findings you came up with. Keep in mind that unless you explain to the audience how the data supports your study, many of your findings may appear meaningless.

IV. Make your methods section interesting while allowing the rest of your presentation to flow smoothly with these pointers.

3. Keep your eyes off the computer screen

Many people make the blunder of staring at the screen too much during a presentation because it’s less intimidating that way. If you do this, your audience may feel that you don’t know enough about the subject to look away from your slides. Avoid staring at the screen by making eye contact with your audience, looking around the room, or even walking around the stage.

On that note, it’s critical that you don’t overstuff your slides with text and don’t have your entire presentation prepared in advance. When this happens, your audience’s attention will be diverted away from you and toward your slides.

When writing, refrain from using phrases like “as you know…”  Not everyone in the audience understands what you’re saying, and you’ll rapidly lose their attention. Additionally, it might give the impression that you’re arrogant, so refrain from using language like this.

Identify your crutch words and eliminate them from your vocabulary as soon as possible. Pro Tip: Student radio DJs learn about the crutch word, which they use as a transitional term on air. Use the word “literally” as a preposition to emphasize a point, for example. You may also use the phrase “you know” or “ok” after every sentence, remark, or point.

However, one of the most commonly used crutch phrases in academic lectures and speeches is “So.” Yes, beginning an answer to a topic or idea with a “So” may seem intelligent at first, but as it becomes more often, your audience will notice, search for, and get slightly frustrated.

Also Read: How Leadership Has Changed in 2021

4. Don’t go off on tangents

This approach goes hand in hand with avoiding using extra slides to stretch out your presentation. It’s important to keep your audience engaged, so use concise language wherever you can. If you’re prone to rambling on due to nerves, consider approaching your speech like a conversation instead. This will help you remain composed and on target.

Know the warning indications that you’re starting to ramble. Losing your breath because you’re talking too fast and without pauses, might be an indication. Other signs include repeating yourself and going into great detail on a topic you originally mentioned briefly.

5. Use arrows to draw attention to key details in difficult-to-understand figures.

If at all possible, avoid using complex figures. However, arrows can show the audience where the section of the numbers they should concentrate on when comprehending your study’s procedures or results. Use a laser pointer to draw attention to particular points in your speech if you have access to one.

Pro tip for do’s and don’ts of public speaking:

Be true to who you are

Being yourself is one of the best things you can do, and it’s something many people overlook. Include a little fun if you like to make people laugh. Show your quirky side if you’re a quirky scientist. Reminding the audience that you are a human being with flaws will help establish your relatability. Just keep in mind to maintain the appropriate level of formality for the circumstance.

Tips for preparing for public speaking:

Following are the best ways and tips for preparing for public speaking:

Make sure you know your audience so you can adapt your speech and presentation accordingly. Your language, speech length, and topic selection will all benefit from keeping your audience in mind. Make sure your audience will have a good time and that the knowledge you give will be useful to them.

Familiarize yourself with your surroundings and the event’s appearance on the day of the event. Find out as much as you can about the venue where you’ll be giving your presentation. Be certain to double-check whether or not you’ll be on stage and equipped with a podium or microphone.

Especially if it’s a big event, figure out how you’re going to get there. As a speaker, you may need to utilize areas like the backstage or alternative entrances. Plan ahead of time by bringing water, a computer, a notepad, and a pen.

Focus and organization are achieved by outlining the speech’s major topics in advance. Make an effort to build your speech around these key ideas.

Consider creating a keyword outline for your speech. An outline benefits from keywords since they are easier to recall. You may quickly scan your notes for terms that will keep you on track.

Give a copy of your speech to a friend or coworker who you trust, to read it once you’ve written it down. Having a fresh set of eyes on things can help you see where you’re going wrong. Request that they make any necessary changes or additions to aid in the content’s flow.

Learn how much time you have for your speech and practice on your own. It’s important to time yourself when you’re training so you can see how long it takes you from the beginning to the end. Use notecards or a script the first few times, but when you get the hang of it, limit your use to instances when you’ve forgotten a line. Making eye contact with your audience is an effective way to engage them.

When explaining concepts, using hand gestures is an effective tool. Using hand gestures can improve your connection with the audience and aid your memory of certain events. Use your ears as an example while discussing audiobooks. This connection between the spoken word and the body’s movement might assist you in recalling your speech.

When practicing alone, pronounce your words aloud in front of a mirror so that you can hear yourself. You’ll be able to get a better idea of how you’ll seem to the audience this way. Seeing what hand motions and facial expressions look like helps you incorporate them more readily.

You may video record yourself using your phone while working on a skill. Record your complete speech while you practice. Once you’ve finished, you may listen to the tape again to see how you did. Consider what went well and what you need to work on further.

The greatest approach to becoming comfortable with public speaking is practicing before a smaller audience, even if that audience is just you. You will feel more at ease if you become accustomed to being watched and listened to as you talk. Invite your audience to provide feedback on your performance by inviting them to provide it at the end of your speech.

Use the stage: Take advantage of the stage if you’re giving a presentation in front of a large group. Walk gently during the presentation to make the most of the available area. Your audience’s eyes will automatically follow your motions if you make little gestures. By shifting your posture, you’ll be more visible to the rest of the crowd.

How to do public speaking:

Know who you’re talking to. Instead of focusing on yourself during your speech, remember that it’s about them.

Consider who your message is meant for before you start writing it. Find out as much as you can about your audience. Your word choice, information level, organisation pattern, and motivating message will all be influenced by this.

1. Organise your information in the most efficient way to achieve your goal

Make a plan for your speech and stick to it. Make a list of the major points, including the topic, general-purpose, particular goal, and primary concept. In the opening 30 seconds, be sure to capture the audience’s attention.

2. Please pay attention to feedback and make adjustments based on it

Don’t lose sight of who you’re speaking to. Keep an eye on their emotions, tweak your message as necessary, and be open to new ideas. Even the most committed listeners will be confused or lost if you deliver a prepared speech.

3. Allow your uniqueness to shine through

Stay true to yourself and avoid sounding like a broken record in any communication. By letting your personality come through, you’ll gain credibility, and your audience will have more faith in what you have to say.

4. Use humor, stories, and language that is clear and concise

If you inject a humorous tale into your presentation, your audience will be captivated. A personal touch in a speech is typically well-received by the audience. That information can be found in a story.

5. Read only when necessary. Create an outline of your tasks and work from it.

Breaking the interpersonal connection by reading from notes or slides damages the relationship. You keep the attention on yourself and your speech when you maintain eye contact with the audience. A concise outline can act as a good memory aid and help you stay focused on what you’re doing.

6. Make effective use of your voice and your hands. Leave out twitches and jerks.

The majority of information is conveyed through body language and facial expressions. A good performance does not draw attention to itself but effectively and unobtrusively delivers the speaker’s thoughts.

7. To keep readers’ attention, start with a bang and finish strong

Does it excite you when a speech begins, “Today I’ll talk to you about X.” Most people aren’t aware of it. Instead, use a shocking statistic, an intriguing anecdote, or a brief quotation to make your point. Finally, leave your listeners with a great conclusion and a lasting impression.