There is no doubt that strong verbal communication skills lay the foundation for a successful professional life. That is why people with excellent public speaking skills shine brighter than their competitors in the professional landscape.
Humans are social animals that survive and thrive on networking. If you cannot convey your feelings, ideas and thoughts clearly and confidently, you lose out on the capacity to connect with people. This could mean losing out on key growth opportunities in the professional world. Therefore, fostering good public speaking skills has become a necessity in today’s competitive world. If you are scared of public speaking, here are some tips to help you foster the skill. And remember: fortune favors the brave.
Speak With Your Body
Be confident… Don’t stutter… Make eye contact.
When it comes to public speaking, the internet is full of armchair experts and their suggestions. Yes, confidence is key, and undoubtedly, making eye contact is important. But most people struggle to answer this key question: What does being confident even mean?
Confidence is a state of mind. At a more practical level, confidence is all about your body language. So the next time you address a crowd, focus on how you move your body. Here are a few tips to remember:
Stand straight and do not slouch.
Avoid moving too much. If you are nervous, find a spot and look at it while delivering your speech.
Take deep breaths, keep your feet apart and relax your shoulders.
Keep your voice calm and controlled.
Granted, adapting your body language is not a piece of cake. You have to practice consistently to fall into a natural flow. We are sure you’ll eventually get there. But until then, fake it till you make it.
What’s the one common trait among all popular public speakers? Their control over their words.
Professional public speakers are expert at modulating their voices and using vocabulary that complements their messages. In essence, this is what good communication is all about. When addressing a group of people, your voice and the way you enunciate plays a major role in captivating attention. You can focus on these key areas:
Volume: Clear, composed, and audible speech attracts attention the best. Be sure to be loud enough to reach people in the back.
Tone: This is where the power of modulation lies. Understand your message and assert key points and terms in your speech.
Pace: Try to keep to a settled pace. Do not rush or slow down. Try diaphragmatic breathing if you’re nervous and struggling to control your breathing.
Your posture was correct, you made eye contact, and you even modulated your voice! And yet your speech fell flat with the crowd?
Then you probably messed up the delivery.
Public speaking is not about writing a great speech. You are engaging with your audience to either convince, relate to, or entertain them. And by doing so, you are trying to strike the perfect balance between your message and their needs. So how do you deliver a fantastic speech?
You approach the negotiation in a way that benefits your audience. Stories are excellent mediums to connect with your audience and engage them. However, a conversational approach to public speaking is more suitable for formal occasions.
Now that you have heard our tips, it's time to practice implementing them. You can’t master a skill overnight, it requires dedication, determination, and consistent practice. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, see them as opportunities to learn and improve.