Public speaking is one of the best ways to enhance your personal development across several verticals. This is because you require strong communication skills in almost every aspect of life.
Regardless of whether you’re a politician, a salesperson, or a motivational speaker, it is important to learn how to speak in front of others and build your confidence.
How Do You Improve Your Public Speaking Skills?
If you are just beginning your career as a public speaker, there are a few basics you will need to know. Awareness of the potential challenges that may hinder your progress along the way will give you the added advantage of knowing how to manage them when they arise.
For example, feeling nervous is normal when you're just starting out. The critical thing in this case is to ensure that you control your anxiety so it doesn't end up impacting upon your speech.
Some of the common psychological reactions you may get when nervous include trembling hands or pounding heart. But it is important that you do not associate any of the feelings you may get when nervous with some sense that you could be performing poorly.
Remember that the adrenaline rush you get when nervous improves your alertness, and you'll need to be alert to deliver at your best. To manage anxiety during public speaking, the best thing to do is prepare thoroughly for the session.
Be sure to do your research and understand your audience, since your speech should be structured around them. Having good background information about your audience will help you in your choice of words and in deciding the best approach to use.
Thorough preparation will also help you determine the appropriate level of information to share with them. Be sure to spare time to review your notes and be comfortable with the material you have created.
It is also effective to record yourself practicing or perform in front of friends. This way, you will be able to spot those areas that need improvement and make the necessary changes before you take to the stage.
You can also benefit from going through the public speaker’s reading list.
Here are a few more powerful tips to improve your public speaking skills.
1. Learn to Manage Your Voice
Voice control is an essential part of public speaking. One of the most practical ways of improving your voice is training yourself to breathe deeply and fully from the diaphragm.
Speech experts are convinced that by mastering diaphragmatic breathing, you will be able to access your most powerful voice. This is the same technique that professional singers leverage to produce melodious sounds. It enables them to hold notes for extended periods when any untrained person would already be out of breath.
2. Work on Your Body Language
The combination of your movements, facial expressions, and speech determines how impactful your speech will be to your audience. Therefore, it is prudent to train yourself on confident delivery and strong body language to make your presentation a success. Here are a few tips that you may find helpful in improving your body language.
Work on your facial expressions: Ensure that your facial expressions match the message you deliver to your audience. If your speech is upbeat, maintain a cheery, joyful look on your face.
Be aware of your posture: If physical complications do not hinder you, be sure to maintain an upright stance when presenting. Keep yourself tall.
Do the superhero pose: This is a good idea if you are feeling some stress before the presentation. Doing it for a few minutes can improve your self-confidence, and reduce stress and anxiety. To do this pose, thrust your chest out, place your hands on your hips and keep your chin up.
3. Do Away with Filler Words
Fillers can massively distract your audience and impact on the value of your speech. It’s not easy, but it is important to work at reducing them gradually to zero.
Some common filler words you may be a victim of include "ah," "um," and "you know." It may feel a bit of a challenge to overcome these traits that you are probably not even aware of until looking back at recordings, but you will be able to ultimately stop using them if you train yourself to cut them out.
4. Engage Your Audience
If you're working on your language skills to become the best public speaker you can, it is important to acknowledge that every audience member has a limited attention span.
It is important to acknowledge this and counteract it by making your discussions and presentations interactive. You can achieve this by stimulating your audience with questions and encouraging them to speak their thoughts. Perhaps include a brainstorming session as part of your presentation?
Public speaking is an art you can master, but requires plenty of practice. Be sure to identify your weak points and then work on them.
About the author:
Emily Harrinson is a celebrated editor in one of the biggest content creation companies in London where people can buy dissertation. She’s been with the company since 2006 taking the leading roles in improving the quality of services. She loves music, sports and reading books. Emily is also positive and this is evident to help every essay writer in their ranks to succeed.