Ways To Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Many people are terrified of speaking in public and get nervous or anxious before doing so. Public speaking is one of the most common fears. This fear is known as glossophobia. Sometimes, even professional orators get nervous before speaking in public. It is normal to be nervous before a presentation or speech.
As a communication student, I still have moments where I get nervous before a presentation or speech, even though I have learned many tips and tricks that can help overcome nerves. There are many ways you can improve your public speaking skills, and we have you covered.
Practice & Prepare
One of the most important things to know about public speaking is that you have to prepare well. You have to practice and prepare enough before giving your speech or presentation. If you are given enough time before a presentation, you must take the time to prepare your speech. When you know the topic, you are going to present on; you should do some research to back up your claims. Preparing and practicing your speech can help you come off to your audience as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and confident.
You can practice your speech in front of a mirror so that you can see your facial expressions. Practicing in front of a mirror can help and you will notice if you are exaggerating your expressions. It is okay to use facial expressions, when appropriate, but you do not want to exaggerate. You can also practice in front of your family or friends so that you can feel comfortable talking in front of an audience. Preparation is the key to a successful presentation.
If you are feeling very nervous on the day of your presentation, then you can practice the superhero stand. This technique can be done the day before your speech, but if you are feeling very anxious on the day of your presentation, you should practice it. The superhero stand is a technique that can help relieve anxiety and nervousness.
The key is to do breathing exercises while you are doing the stand. This can help you relax and boost your confidence. The next time you feel anxious or nervous before your speech or presentation, whether for a class or work, practice the superhero stand to relieve this feeling.
Know Your Audience
Another important factor about public speaking is to know your audience. When you know your audience, you know what to say and how to say it. You need to keep your audience in mind so that you can choose the adequate words to use in your speech. If you want to keep your audience interested in your topic and your presentation, then you must know them well. Not only does knowing your audience allow you to give a great speech, but it also allows you to keep your audience engaged in your presentation.
Grab The Audience’s Attention
Another way to improve your public speaking skills is by having an attention grabber at the beginning of your speech. There are many effective ways to grab the audience’s attention. You can ask a question, start with a quote, give an anecdote, or use a statistic. Choose the attention grabber that fits with your topic. For example, if you are giving a speech on studying abroad, then you can open with a quote about adventure and traveling. Once you grab their attention, it is important to maintain their attention during the presentation. It is also important to end your speech strongly so that it can be memorable for the audience.
Don’t Read Off Notecards Or Slides
Reading off notecards or PowerPoint slides can make the presenter look unprepared and nervous. To improve your public speaking skills, you should not read off of notecards or PowerPoint slides. Not reading off notecards or slides allows you to stay engaged with the audience. This also demonstrates that you are prepared, and you know what you are talking about.
When you are reading off your notecards or reading everything from your slides, your audience will lose interest. You can use notecards and look at your slides, but make sure to use keywords. If you need to use notecards, you can use them, but do not write full sentences. Doing so can lead to reading off from the cards. It is also okay to look at your slides, but make sure to stay engaged with the audience, don’t give your back to the audience. You can take a glance if you forget a key point but look at the audience again once you’ve remembered your point.
Practice Impromptu Speeches
Finally, practice impromptu speeches whenever possible. Practicing impromptu speeches can help you strengthen your public speaking skills because they are quick. You are required to think quickly and create a short outline immediately. Impromptu speeches can help you ease tension or stress whenever you give another presentation. These types of speeches can be fun, and it is important to not think too much about what you are going to say. There are many topics that you can choose for an impromptu speech. You can practice your impromptu speeches whenever you have time and wherever you feel comfortable.
What will you do to improve your public speaking skills? Let us know in the comments below.