5 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Speaking in front of an audience, no matter how big, bothers a lot of people. Some get really nervous about public speaking, while there are some who are downright frightened by it. Apart from these people, there are some who can speak comfortably, but they are not very good in it. Unfortunately for these people, public speaking is sort of a basic skill that is required for almost every decent job or business.
You have to express yourself in today’s world. Proper marketing is just as important as the quality of the product/service you are offering, if not more. Be it a presentation of your ideas to your superiors, or the introduction of a new product to the public, speaking in front of an audience and speaking well is very vital in the corporate world. Here are five tips that might help you to become a better and confident public speaker.
- Preparation is the key. It is a well-known fact among regular speakers that a planned speech is generally easier than a spontaneous one. Exceptional speakers aside, it is a good practice to prepare your speech thoroughly. What are the main points you intend to cover? What is going to be the focus of your speech? In what order should the points be covered? Do you have all the necessary info in your speech? Do you have any unnecessary ones? Carefully plan all these to prepare the perfect speech. Also, good preparation gives confidence, which is important.
- Engage with the audience. No one wants to listen to a guy drone on indefinitely. It is important to be interactive. Ask questions (even if they are rhetorical), make a humorous comment, and most importantly, make eye contact with the audience members. A stiff log of a speaker is not preferred by anyone.
- Keep it short. Short but precise- that should be the description of your speech. Unless you are an exceptionally good speaker, the longer your speech is, the more people is likely to lose interest. Groom out irrelevant information and unnecessary descriptions. During preparation, highlight the exact points you want to cover and get rid of everything else. But don’t make it an overly formal ordeal. Find the right mix of hard facts and casual talk.
- Strong body language. Pay attention to your posture and gestures. Unnatural postures will be noticed by audience and create a negative impression. Similarly, nervous gestures are bound to be picked up by someone from the audience. Smile, make bold gestures and speak naturally. Forcing something will make it worse.
- As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Once your speech is prepared, practice in front of the mirror, in front of your friends, your mum or your dog. The important thing here is to listen to yourself. You can determine what are the strengths and weaknesses of your speech and alter it to your needs. You can record yourself and then review your performance afterwards, which is also very helpful.