Public speaking is not an easy job. There is a set of skills you have to master to be able to effectively speak in front of an audience. Some would say that all you need to be a good speaker is confidence. While this is true, powerful speeches are not only driven by confidence. To be able to do a good job, you have to be informational, motivational, and impactful. These are key to a good speech.
Speakers such as motivational and leadership speakers also experience shortcomings when it comes to speeches. You can be good at something but it doesn’t you can no longer be better at it. This is why it is important to always thrive to be a better speaker no matter how good you are today.
So, here are tips to help you be better at public speaking:
Learn From Experienced Speakers
Watching and learning from exceptional speakers offers one of the best ways to improve your own public speaking skills. To start, search for examples of great public speakers on YouTube.
When you watch these individuals, take note of their body language. You’ll find that it tends to remain open and inviting. They use their arms and hands in ways that accentuate their key points.
Pay particular attention to how speakers pace themselves. They tend to take their time and deliver their words intentionally. Additionally, they use pauses to keep the audience engaged and do not rush themselves. They may use humor or anecdotes in appropriate and effective ways.
Know How To Relax
Proper breathing will help you relax. Your projection and pace will improve. Becoming out of breath can make you look nervous and make the audience uncomfortable. Practice speaking as you exhale. Try this exercise to warm up, relax and improve your breath control: Stand or sit up straight.
Breathe in through your nose for three seconds and out through your nose for four to six seconds. Another warm-up exercise is to hum as you exhale, which will warm up your throat. These simple exercises will prepare you to deliver a relaxed, clearly-spoken presentation.
Don’t Forget To Practice
Even great speakers practice their speeches beforehand. Practice out loud with a recording device or video camera and then watch yourself to see how you can improve. If you are feeling brave, practice in front of a friend or family member and ask for feedback.
If possible, choose a topic for your speech or presentation that you know a lot about and love. Your passion for the topic will be felt by the audience. At the same time, you will feel less anxious knowing that you have a lot of experience to draw from when other students ask you questions.
Find Your Own Style
Different events will often require a different approach or style. Sometimes reading a prepared speech is fine. But know it backward is forward so you’re not staring down at the pages the whole time. Some use notes. Others prefer to be 100 percent scripted and memorized.
Whatever your style is, memorize the content so well that you can go off-script if needed. This also so you don’t sound like you’re reciting a poem. Use the proper approach for the appropriate event.
Be Sensitive Of The Language
Inclusivity can often make or break a public speaking engagement. As our societal norms continue to change over time, it’s critical for speakers to understand and adapt to the vernacular that’s considered appropriate for their listeners.
Use language that everyone can understand, and steer clear of industry jargon unless it’s common knowledge to the people you’re presenting to. Avoid gender-specific and all-encompassing words, as well as antiquated naming practices that may alienate people in attendance.
In many professions, some amount of public speaking is necessary. It might be that you need to present in a small meeting, give an update to the entire company, or present at a conference or other event. No matter what it is or how daunting you find it, there are steps you can take to prepare and improve your skills.
Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect. However, putting in the requisite time to prepare will help you deliver a better speech. You may not be able to shake your nerves entirely, but you can learn to minimize them.