15 Techniques To Become Better at Public Speaking
The thought of standing in front of an audience petrifies and cause many to panic. Even weeks of preparation may not cure the terrifying feelings.
Public Speaking is an activity that imparting information to an audience or the public. It is a necessary skill to master in our world today. Public speaking can be either online or with a physical audience.
We have opportunities present before a large audience, like a school, an organization and indeed in our personal lives. Public speaking sharpens your critical thinking skills, and it helps you to keep your mind sharp while thinking on the feet.
It helps to improve the consistency of verbal and non-verbal messages that you send when speaking.
Today, Public speaking is a prerequisite life skill in the contemporary world, full of meetings, seminars and networking events. It is the action of presenting a speech to a live audience in an organized manner, to inform, entertain and persuade them.
Public speaking anxiety is a real issue. Speakers both over-prepare and end up forgetting their speech or skipping many important parts out of the public speaking fear they develop in the period leading up to their speech.
This may have also happened because sufficient time was not devoted to preparation, leaving the audience wondering why they showed up at all.
There are many aspects to public speaking. To deliver a solid speech, you need to pick a topic, write a speech, and prepare to answer questions from the audience while making sure to understand the cultural differences of the questions you may receive.
You also need to ensure the clarity of your messages and make sure that there is no confusion among your listeners as a result of what they hear.
Public speaking plays a significant role within the professional world – 70 percent of all jobs involve some form of presentation and speaking to the public.
Many job descriptions include ‘presentation skills’ as a job requirement. By presentation skills, they are referring to your public speaking skills.
Public speaking is not a trend or a fad; it dates as far back as 2,500 years ago – to ancient Athens. Speech giving was a part of the citizens’ civic duties. Sometimes, to defend themselves, men had to give a rousing speech in public as the cost of hiring a lawyer was not affordable.
Citizens would meet in a marketplace and debate issues on war, economics and politics. Good speaking skills opened doors of opportunities to meet with and mingle with the high and mighty.
Aristotle discovered that to rally the citizens into conformity, one needed to influence people. This is what he called rhetoric, and it’s defined because of the capacity to influence people. He broke it down into three strategies: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.
We use Ethos when the origin is trustworthy, and the speaker can establish authority over the subject.
We use Logos when there are pieces of evidence to back the argument requiring that the public use logic and deduction build on the strengths of the speaker’s logic.
We use Pathos for passionate, emotional appeals to secure audience approval.
In the 21st century, you must communicate to succeed. The art of your communication often makes a difference between landing your dream job, winning a multi-million-dollar contract, or delivering a moving speech at a corporate event.
Here are the 15 techniques that will make you a stronger public speaker. These techniques will help you become better at public speaking and convey your messages across articulately and elegantly.
Preparing or researching for a public speaking engagement is the first step towards a successful public speaking activity. Prepare your subject matter well ahead of D-Day. Practice the speech. Make it yours.
You can record yourself to hear how your tone sounds. Is it a hysterical, high-pitched shrill note, or is it steady? Rehearsing your speech will help you identify any areas that need tightening. Create the framework for your speech.
Write the topic, general-purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and focal points.
2. When Speaking, Have a Point
One of the most important recommendations for you – is always to have a point when speaking. Don’t just use the filler words, generic phrases.
Do your best to frame an issue very accurately, and use surgically-sharp words to get to your point. Depending on the audience, you may need to tell them what exactly you need from them or what should be their next steps after hearing your speech.
Repeat your key point or the most important takeaway at least three times during your speech. This way, at a minimum, the audience will remember your most important point.
3. Rehearse Using Imagery, Feelings and Emotions
Not everyone is great at memorizing and practicing the words of their speech. If you still forget the words or mix your points up, no matter how long you spend rehearsing or practising, you can try using feelings and images.
If I asked you to describe the storyline of your favourite movie, how would you do it? For many public speakers, especially those who get anxious during a speech, the first two minutes are the hardest.
With that in mind, it would be helpful for you to practice your opening in such a way that you will only feel uncomfortable with it but remember it. You shouldn’t attempt memorizing your entire presentation, just the primary two minutes.
4. Rehearse With an Audience
You’ve practiced your speech by yourself a few times now, but what about with an audience?
One of the simplest ways to practice your speech is to practice it under conditions that will resemble the day of your speech.
Practice in front of a small group of people to build your confidence that way, when you hit the stage, you won’t get nervous when you see the crowd in front of you.
5. Structure Your Speech
To design your speech and make it easy for your audience to accept your position, break it into three sections:
Open, main body, and end. In each category, you’re seeking to accomplish a specific objective: In the Open, you want to state to your audience who you are and what you’re communicating about.
Don’t be apprehensive about re-stating your key position. A classic means to structure a discussion is that the addition is 10% of your speech, content 80%, and conclusion 10%.
This makes your audience to recognize the meat of your speech versus an over-long introduction or conclusion.
6. Arrive at the Venue Early Enough to Get a Feel of the Room
Get to your venue at least an hour or two before the event starts and perform a little simulation. Look at the equipment, stage and stage. Stand in the spot where you are likely to deliver your speech and determine what it feels like to be delivering a speech to an imaginary audience.
Check your posture. If a particular spot doesn’t feel right, consider changing it. Also, go to the audience, assume you are a member of the audience.
How does it feel? Don’t work yourself up while rehearsing for your public speaking event.
7. Start Strong
For background, as of December 2020, the total worldwide population is 7.8 billion. The internet has 4.54 billion users. This is an interesting way to start a public speech.
It is best not first to exhaust your audience to tears before you get to the interesting part of your speech. Starting strongly wins them over to your site early.
You can do this by starting with a shocking statistic, an interesting anecdote, a funny reference. These get the crowd wanting to hear more.
8. Move People to Action With Your Speech
A stirring speech moves people to act. If your speech, no matter how well-rehearsed, does not make people do or see something different after listening to you, then it has failed to be effective.
Martin Luther King’s, I have a dream speech will for the life-changing effect it had on listeners around the world.
While your aim may not be as life-altering as the civil rights movement, it should deliver that ‘light bulb moment’ to your audience at least once.
9. Be Spontaneous
Public speaking is such a nerve-wracking activity that you can dread even more than death. Hence, people do it right and stick to a script till the end, memorizing the words, gesticulations and body language.
But some of your strongest speechmaking can come from the emotion and passion of spontaneity.
Anyone giving a presentation can learn from King to avoid memorizing your script from start to finish. Instead, try gauging your audience’s emotions—and improvise accordingly.
10. Go with the Audience Flow
When Public speaking, it is vital to be present, in mind, and watch for audience responsiveness and feedback and go with the flow. If you observe a particular point elicits positive responses such as nods, laughs, claps, spend a little more time on the topic.
You can even make it interactive for a short time before you continue.
This is if it is that kind of event. And if you observe a negative or indifference in the audience that lingers, you can also adapt.
11. Prepare in Advance for Show-Stoppers. But Visualize Your Success
Before you craft your message, examine whom you intend the information for. Learn as much about your audiences as you can. This will help you work out your choice of messages, material and content, organization pattern, and psychological feature.
What if something goes wrong despite all your best efforts? What if a technical problem still occurs? What if you forget your lines? What if the public is not oohing and aahing?
Prepare for all this by rehearsing and reporting early. And you will see yourself at the conclusion of your speech, receiving applause, engaging with your audience and open to receiving feedback.
12. Avoid Filler Words
Filler words serve as a clutch for when you run out of ideas. They are words like “you know,” “like’ and “um” add nothing to your speech. They can also be called discourse markers, pause fillers, or hesitation forms.
Though filler words are not entirely useless because they help you when you are thinking of what to say next, it is better to avoid them.
13. Connect With Your Audience
Practice making eye contact with your audience, even if it makes you uneasy. It’s the rightest approach to connect with them emotionally, and when you feel that connection yourself, it feels great and will improve your confidence.
As far as public speaking and presenting is concerned, there is no further powerful manner of connecting with your audience than making eye contact with them.
14. Dress To Succeed
Public speaking intends to influence and impress. To woo, impress the audience, you have to show you care about the little details. When you dress and carry yourself well, this helps communicate to others the business message you’re seeking to transmit.
This is specifically critical in delivering presentations, whether the audience is one person or a hundred. Make certain your boots are polished and hair nicely combed. This is again a great form of grooming.
The strongest way to avoid errors in dressing is to look at yourself in the mirror before walking out for your event.
Remember, dressing appropriately will not merely represent you a superb speaker but also make them interested in listening to what you have to say.
15. Use a Speaking Style You are Comfortable With
Besides imitating excellent speakers, work on strengthening your style as a public speaker, and becoming better at public speaking. Incorporate your personality into your speaking style, and you will feel more comfortable in front of the audience.
Telling personal stories that tie into your theme is a great way to let others get to know you further.
Audiences can identify the distinction between you expressing your views and when it appears speaking someone else’s lines because you are using a style that you copied from someone else.
16. Ask for Feedback
Most of us don’t want feedback, chiefly when you perceive the feedback may hold some constructive criticism. Speaking is an effective means of connecting with people and a skill we all need. So you never know where an excellent speech will take you.
Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect, so be open to hearing about what others think about your work. It not only also helps you get better.
It forces you to examine areas you did great and continue to do better every time you have to speak in public.
Public speaking skill is a must for leaders and managers. It’s a must for sales. It’s necessary for all entrepreneurs and business leaders whatever you do, you never know when you have to speak in Public and killing this activity requires practice.
However, putting in the time to prepare will help you deliver a great speech. You may not shake your nervous feeling off entirely, but you can learn to manage them.
Public speaking is an essential skill that can make or break any business leader or business professional.
When speaking publicly, have a point that you want to make. Connect with your audience, and deliver a strong message that will generate the highest impact.
During your speech, don’t just deliver the speech to the audience as a whole, but do your best to connect with every member of your audience.
This will add a personal touch, and as a result – your speech will be received incredibly well.
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