Public speaking is an art and a business tool that most of us will never master. It’s like riding a bike for the first time – you may have one great trick up your sleeve, but if you can’t get it off the ground, there is no use in trying. This article will look at some simple yet powerful tips for improving your public speaking skills.
Learn how to practice! One of the main issues with public speaking is the fact that people are there to see you speak and you want to be able to deliver the best possible speech possible. If you practice in front of a mirror then you can actually find out what your best and worst speaking qualities are and decide how to improve on them.
Remember to focus! This may sound obvious, but being distracted or losing your train of thought is one of the biggest reasons that most people give up before their first speech. Concentrate on the job at hand, but don’t forget about the audience.
If you are in the middle of something then take a few deep breaths and let go of any nervous feeling. Get into a habit of doing this and you will find it much easier to do when you feel the heat of the moment. Always remember that you are there to educate, not sell.
Show your passion for the subject. When you have a strong topic of interest then you will find that even when you aren’t particularly confident you can be pretty confident when you are on the stage. Don’t worry about the audience thinking you’re showing off, just remember that your goal is to help them, not make them think.
Speaking at work is a lot different than speaking at school or church. If you are unsure of what to say in any of these situations then you may find that it is better to try a prepared speech rather than do a spontaneous one. If you are nervous then you may not get your point across. In a situation where you may be talking to large numbers of people, try to have an outline for each point.
Even the most professional people struggle with public speaking every now and again and if you are one of those busy people then it may be worth having someone take notes for you. Even if you’re not, then if you ask them to, a friend or colleague could be a useful sounding board and help you figure out some of the areas you need to improve. You could also talk to a professional coach about the areas you are struggling with and what they have to say about them.
Remember to relax! This applies as much to the preparation of your speech as it does to the actual act of giving it. Many people find it difficult to relax while they are speaking and this means that they don’t know what they are saying, or they are forgetting key points.
Remember to smile! It sounds silly but smiling actually makes people listen to you better. It’s the same old advice in reverse – when you smile you are showing that you are a happy person and people love when happy people speak.
Remember to be yourself! Although you are trying to give a speech, and it’s quite easy to think about your own problems with public speaking, the truth is that you are a public speaker and no one really wants to hear how difficult you are. Always remember that you are doing a public service and try to relate to the people who are listening.
These tips will hopefully make your public speaking much more pleasant. Most of the time they won’t work, but if they do, just concentrate on making them work, and you will soon find that you have become a much better public speaker. Everyone loves a good public speaker and when you can hold the attention of your audience then you have made a step forward.