Public speaking is often not considered as a skill! For many of us, when we say public speaking skills often means speaking to the mass. However, public speaking skills are not restricted to only mass but it could be your office presentation, or an interview, group discussion, debates, marketing or as a matter of fact, it could also be your shopkeeper with whom you are bargaining.
The scope of public speaking is vast. Imagine, you are in a party enjoying every bit of it and suddenly the host asks you to say few words, and your adrenaline drenches totally. Why so? Is it your introvert nature or your wrong inhibitions? There are several people who stammer. Not because they are physically disabled but because they are scared and not confident of their speech and abilities. Today, we’ll have an insight on those simple yet very effective tips that can help you improve your public speaking skills.
1. Honestly, Remove All The Wrong Notions
The unwillingness in you pulls you back and stops you from going ahead. At times, you really want to travel that extra mile, but you find something is pulling you back. Well, you need to come out of it. The fact that “what people might say” is the most important drawback for most of us. It is the shyness and lack of confidence which often emerges due to incomplete knowledge and lack of right presentation skills. But trust me, once you are out of this fear, you will tend to fly free. Open your fists and let that sand in your palm flow. As Seth Godin rightly quoted, “You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged.” Let all the shyness and inner fear go away. Once you are confident that you’re able to add value to the knowledge bank of your audiences, you can unlock every door.
It is absolutely truly said that “practice makes a man perfect”, and once you start practicing, you become confident not only in speaking but also in your body language. Initially, your voice throw would not be strong, your body language would display discomfort, and your eyes might be dumbstruck. To get rid of such signs of poor confidence better steel occasions to talk, even if it’s a bare “thank you” to the public, or at a party, or in your office or any other place. Take initiative to speak a few words whenever an opportunity knocks your door. Public speaking is a place where very few faces are known to you and most of the time they are strangers that you talk to. Thus, you must start talking in a way that the other side finds it interesting to listen to you and not just hear you. How does it begin? What do you do? Well, that needs preparation.
3. Do Your Homework Right!
The secret of public speaking lies in its preparation. If your homework is right, there is very little chance that your dice would roll wrong. Prepare yourself for tomorrow. Jot down points that you will require to speak on. Always carry a piece of note with points jotted with you. You may throw a quick glance on that note whenever you think you need. Public speaking should come naturally in you. The moment you take up the rote memory, you are in the soup. However, that doesn’t mean you do not rehearse. You of course do. Today’s modern technology has given us some really amazing liberty. Stand in front of your mobile camera and speak. Now take hold of your camera and see view the recording. Do you find any pitfalls in it? Would you listen to someone like this? Ask yourself. Where did you go wrong? How can you improve yourself? And believe me; you will be able to answer it yourself. The main idea is when you speak; people should crave to listen to you. A famous adage reminds me of Sandra Delozier, “nothing calms a person faster than hearing his own ideas repeated back”. So follow that on.
4. Add Spice and Humor to your Speech
Would you like to listen to someone with the same monotonous voice or words that do not reach out to you? The answer is negative for sure. You must put in humor (of course looking at the need); your sentences should reach out to the audience. They must be able to relate to it. Bring in those perfect intonations, poise and an inviting appeal in your voice modulation. Construct short sentences and speak at a normal pace. Give yourself also time to think and your nerves to relax. Running with the topic and coming up with complicated sentences will only make your speech ugly and complex. Have a voice that is confident, make sentences that people love to listen to, avoid negative comments in your speech, and be affirmative instead. Your eyes speak a lot. Thus, the spark in your eyes will win over hearts. Make sure you have had a great sleep, your charm is your asset; use it up to give that 100%.
5. Keep The Crowd Engaged
Well, this is one of the most necessary tips, particularly when you are speaking to a large number of crowd. Involve them into your speech by asking questions and suggestion. All of a sudden, you may ask them to raise hands in order to have an affirmation or ask them to say a big ‘YES’ if you have been talking to them for a long time. When you come up with something interesting, the audience would love to listen to you. You should make your audience feel that it is not only you who is talking to them and they are also talking to you.
6. Know Your Target Market
Before going to speak in public, know your target market. Understand the topic you are going to talk on. Why is it necessary to speak? Who is going to listen to you? How are you going to approach them? What queries may arise from your topic and get ready with the answers. And so on. Your speech needs innovative ideas depending on the age, sex, place, and the motive. For instance, if you are going to deliver a speech at a school, your main focus must be on children’s wellness, academics, health and more.
Your speech should essentially be on those lines. You may start with proverbs, or a laughing line so that children find you easy to associate to. Recall your school days, when a known personality used to make his appearance and deliver his speech for good odd 15 minutes. Therefore, what you have gone through, you will obviously do not want the same notions about you in the children’s mind. Cut short your speech as small as you can and put all the bullet points in order. It is, therefore, imperative that you know how much to convey, how to convey and when to convey.
7. First Impression Is the Last Impression
Before you take up the dais, make sure you make a remarkable impression in the minds of the audience. Your first impression remains your last impression. Therefore, the attire you wear, the way you walk, the freshness on the face and all makes a lot of difference. Nobody likes to see a tired face, sulked look or a badly dressed speaker. It is important that you don’t overdress. Just be right. Keep yourself hydrated so that the energy in you is ever pouring.
8. Eye Contact with the Audience
In public speaking, it is a must that you have an eye contact with your audience. People should feel you are talking to them. A sense of belongingness pours in and the interest to listen to you gradually develops.
It is certain that we all are not born public speakers, but there is always a first time. Give yourself that chance and you are born to do so. The amount of joy and happiness you will seek is enormous. John Ford’s words are apt when he said: “You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart”. Thus, go ahead and listen to your heart.
Speaking is not a big deal but only when you’re expert in your subject and can deliver the speech with confidence in a right tone and pitch. Speaking endlessly without any motive is rubbish. Don’t speak because you have to speak. Speak when you have something to speak, which can add knowledge and value to your aduience’s life. This all can be acquired using above tips and lot of practice! Consistent practice, practice, and practice.