Many people dread having to speak publicly in front of others, especially if it is a large group. Just the thought of it makes them feel very anxious. You might share those same feelings. Recently, you have noticed there have been a lot of speeches given online. You think to yourself maybe this is something that I can try.
In general, public speaking online is not easy as it causes some of the same anxieties as public speaking in person. However, each speaker is different based on factors such as ability and level of experience.
We will discuss this topic in depth below. You will also be able to see the similarities and differences between online and in-person public speaking and the different types of online public speaking. Additionally, you will see if public speaking can be taught online and what makes a good online public speech. Let’s begin!
What Are The Similarities Between Public Speaking Online and Public Speaking In Person?
There are many similarities between public speaking online and public speaking in person. For both you must:
- Know your content
- Practice thoroughly
- Make sure that your purpose is clear whether you want to persuade, inform, or entertain those listening to you
- Make sure that your main points really stand out and are supported by solid evidence
- Make sure that you tailor the style and delivery of your speech to that audience
What Are The Differences?
There are noticeable differences between public speaking online and public speaking in person.
- First, your audience is not directly in front of you or even in the same room as you.
- Second, although sometimes you may be able to see the faces of your audience, this will not be the case most of the time.
Are There Different Types Of Online Public Speaking?
Yes, there are different types of online public speaking. The two main types can be broken up into the following categories:
- Synchronous Speeches- Synchronous speeches are delivered in real-time to a live online audience with content that was prepared specifically just for them. This is normally done by having the speaker and the audience connected through web conferencing or virtual communication software.
Some of the most common tools used to date include Skype and Zoom. This provides the audience a wide range of flexibility when it comes to their viewing location. Your audience can all be in one room, such as a conference room. On the other hand, they may all be in the comforts of their own home watching it from their individual devices.
- Asynchronous Speeches- Asynchronous speeches are prerecorded with no audience present and then uploaded to the internet for viewing at a later time.
Is Public Speaking Online Easy?
Many find public speaking online easy, but it really depends on the person. Those presenting in real-time may still feel nervous, but it is not as intense as if they were face to face with their audience.
This brings them a lot of comfort because they are still able to impart valuable information to their audience but with less pressure. Public speaking online tends to be easier for those who find connecting and interacting with their audience in person challenging.
Still, others may find public speaking online difficult since they are not able to see the faces and reactions of their audience. This is especially the case for those who are giving prerecorded speeches.
This can create a real challenge for those who thrive and are really in their element by seeing the reactions of those in the audience. They are not able to catch those nonverbal cues that will help them to see if their audience is really engaged and understanding what they are saying.
Additionally, there is another factor that makes public speaking online easy. It is convenient and easily accessible. You can give your speech or presentation from anywhere in the world as long as you have a stable internet connection. This also means that you do not have to travel nationally or internationally to give your speech. If you want, you can deliver your speech from the comfort of your own home or office.
Can Public Speaking Be Taught Online?
Yes, to the delight of many, public speaking can be taught online. In addition to the convenience of public speaking being taught online, there is a variety of learning styles for you to choose from. There are Online Public Speaking Courses, Public Speaking Podcasts and Webinars, and Online Public Speaking Classes. You can find a mini description on each below to help you choose which style is best for your individual needs.
- Online Public Speaking Courses- These courses provide helpful information and tips that you can use. Many have found this to be beneficial. However, this format does not allow you to practice with an audience. You must seek out your audience to practice what you have learned. If you have any questions, you will not be able to ask an instructor right then and there. However, they often provide a chatbot or other options for you to submit your questions, and then you can receive an answer.
Additionally, they also often provide common questions that others have asked along with the answers. You may find the answer to your question there. You can find online public speaking courses on LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, or other private platforms.
- Public Speaking Podcasts and Webinars- Public speaking webcasts and webinars are great if you prefer to have the ability to ask an instructor any questions that you may have. Here you will also receive practical information, but participation is optional. A live instructor will be there to answer your questions and interact with the participants. However, just like with online public speaking courses this option does not give you a place to practice.
- Online Public Speaking Classes- Online public speaking classes come very highly recommended! If you are looking for the total package this is the way to go. You will receive helpful information, practical tips, be able to interact with an instructor, practice in front of a live audience (virtually), and receive valuable feedback. Your instructor and those who are in your class will be able to listen to you and give you insightful tips so that your public speaking skills can captivate your future audiences.
Online public speaking classes provide you with a safe space to learn with individualized attention from your instructor. You can make mistakes and learn from them without being judged. You can also try new speaking techniques and styles, perhaps you will find one that you really excel in!
For more information surrounding this subtopic, feel free to check out the article, "Taking an Online Public Speaking Class: The Top Pros and Cons"
What Makes A Good Online Speech?
Naturally, if you are going to give an online speech you want to do it well. A good online speech has a lot of similarities to giving a speech in person. Below you will find some helpful tips that will guide you in making a good online speech.
- Practice- Practicing your speech is one of the most imperative steps that you can take to make your online speech successful. You can start by practicing on your own, perhaps in front of a mirror. Eventually, you will want to practice in front of trusted, family, friends, or coworkers. They can provide helpful feedback. The more you practice the more natural it feels.
- Know your content- The more you know your content the more convincing you will be to your audience. You will also feel more confident when delivering it.
- Keep your speech simple, clear, and well structured- If your speech is overly complicated, the audience may start to mentally drift off. The more clarity the audience has, the more they will be inclined to pay attention. Make sure your speech has a beginning, middle, and end.
- Use the appropriate length- Due to the nature of your speech, your length may vary. A speech that is not intended to be long in length, should be kept relatively brief. A speech that needs to be a little longer in length, such as a keynote address should not be too short. It is all about balance.
- Short Stories- Incorporate short stories that will enhance the meaning of your speech.
- Keep your audience in mind by using an appropriate tone- When delivering a speech, you really have to know your audience. You must know why they have come to listen to you and what they want to get out of your speech. Do they want to be informed, entertained, motivated, and so forth? Once you figure this out, you will then be able to pick the appropriate tone to deliver your speech. For example, if you are giving an informative speech your tone with be more authoritative, as opposed to being more lighthearted and jovial for a speech designed to entertain.
- Be enthusiastic- Since your audience is not physically with you, your enthusiasm can really help them remain engaged. It’s easy for an audience to get distracted when they are in a live audience, how much more so when they are connected virtually? However, your enthusiasm and spontaneity can combat that and keep them hanging on to every word that you say.
- Memorable ending- End with a brief and memorable summary to recap the main point that you want your audience to remember.
Additional Points To Keep In Mind:
When it comes to public speaking online there are some additional factors to keep in mind.
- Make sure you have good lighting because this can affect the quality of your video
- An external microphone will enhance the quality of your sound
- Make sure that you are standing when you are delivering your speech, just like you would if they were right in front of you
- Look into the camera as you are delivering your speech
- Always test your internet connection
Public speaking online can be easy by easy. It all depends on personal preference. For many, they actually prefer public speaking online. Not having to speak in front of a live audience gives them the confidence they need to deliver their speech successfully. This could be the case for you as well. After all, we will be using public speaking online for the foreseeable future. It is worth a try!
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check the articles Online Resources for Public Speaking and Where Can I Learn Public Speaking. If you would like to leverage the best presentation software for your next big speaking engagement please read the article 'Best Presentation Technology tools'.