Public speaking is such a skill that we need it often from time to time in our professional life. Whether it’s addressing friends, business presentations, or team meetings; one thing that is common among all of them is talking with a group of people.
Either you’re a good speaker or a bad speaker; the result would impact public perception of you. That’s why people are cautious about their public speaking skills. However, if you practice and prepare yourself well, then you can overcome your nerves. Today, we’ll discuss how to improve your public speaking skill.
Significance of Public Speaking
You don’t have to be a professional speaker. There are many instances in life where a public speaking skill would help you to take advantage of opportunities and rank up in your career. For instance, you would have the opportunity to teach the new recruits, delivering a speech after accepting the award, and sharing your company’s experiences at the conference. When you’re addressing a group of people, then gathering could be online meetings, virtual teams, and training sessions.
Some of the other occasions where a public speaking skill would be helpful are charity events, volunteers, eulogy, or speeches at a friend’s wedding. In simple words, we can say that public speaking opens up a lot of opportunities for you, boost your confidence, and amplify your public reputation.
The public speaking skill could make or break your career. For instance, your boss won’t give your a promotion because of your poor presentation in the meeting. Or you may lose the prospective contract because your sales pitch wasn’t impressive. Or your impression of the new team wasn’t attractive in the meeting because you failed to make eye contact with them. That’s why it’s important to learn and develop your public speaking skill.
How to Improve your Public Speaking Skill
It’s a step-by-step process of developing your public speaking skill. There are many professionals’ suggestions and tips in learning how to improve your public speaking skill. Some of them are as follows;
Taking Public Speaking Course
You should take a short public speaking course; it would help you to gradually learn, practice, and improve your speaking skill. Professional experts would guide you and develop confidence in you. Most important, peer support would help you to remove hesitation and fear of facing the public.
If you want to develop your virtual presentations skill, then you should take an online course. If you want to improve the live experience of facing public gatherings, then you should look for the local student group or gather where they practice speaking skills.
Call a Friend
You should call a friend and ask him to check out your presentation, and ask them to share their honest feedback. The constructive feedback and criticism would help you to get better. However, you should make sure to let them know that what they should check in your presentation; content, delivery style, breathing, body language, posture, etc.
Record your Speech
You should record your speech on the camera; it would allow you to check out your performance. While watching your recorded speech, you should observe posture, how you sound like, and your body language. However, the best speakers watch their recorded performance in order to make them better and rectify their mistakes.
The only way to improve your public speaking skill is to practice, practice, and practice. There’s no shortcut to it. However, you perform a certain activity repetitively, and then you learn many things like a better way of presenting and styling it during the process. The more you practice it, the more it polishes your skill, and you become comfortable in style and presentation over time.
A visual-aided presentation would attract the attention of your audience and present your points better. Keep in mind that the visual aid should support your presentation, instead of distracting your audience. However, you should add pictures and images in the slides to present your point, short bullet format text, and avoid using over-text.
Intermingle with Audience
Before starting the speech and presentation, you should talk with the audience and understand their caliber, so that you could tailor your content accordingly. While doing so, you should observe that what your audience considers important, it would be useful to add it to your content.
Different types of events require a different style of presentation and approach. For instance, a formal business meeting would require a different style than a classroom lecture style.
Talking Points/How to improve your public speaking skill
You should prepare keynotes for your speech and the presentation that you’re going to present to your audience. You should start your presentation with 3 or 4 major broader points, outline their details, and then keep on adding the smaller points.
You should organize your keynotes in the chronological order; make sure it has a clear starting and ending points. If you have planned the keynotes in good order, then it would help you to stay on track with your presentation. Don’t forget to highlight those points that you should suppose to emphasize.
Breathe Control & Voice
Some speakers come on stage and quickly finish up their points, and they speak faster than normal. It’s important that you should be aware of your style, and follow the slow pace and keep building it. It would allow the audience to better comprehend your points and you could control your nerves. However, breathing practice is a great technique. You should practice deep inhale/exhale air in your lunges for roundabout 10 times.
Public speaking puts great pressure on speakers, and sometimes it impacts their body language negatively. The experience speakers have complete control over their nerves, posture, body language, and they maintain eye contact with the audience.
It’s significant to mention it here that good body language amplifies speakers’ performance and makes it easier for the audience to understand and remember. You should keep your posture open and avoid crossing arms and putting arms in the pockets. You should make friendly eye contact with the audience, instead of staring at them.
Watch Other Speakers
You should watch the videos of the best speakers in the industry and learn from them, it’s one of the best techniques. While watching their videos, you should take notes of their style in terms of their arms, head, shoulders, and hands; how they move, behave, and react. Most importantly, you should pay heed to their delivery style, pace, pauses, and emphasis points, and how they use humor and anecdotes.
Conclusion: How to Improve your Public Speaking Skill
After a careful study of how to improve your public speaking skill, we’ve concluded that public speaking is a career-changing skill. If you want to move up in your career and develop your public speaking skill, then you should follow the abovementioned professional suggestions and practice them regularly.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.