How to Improve Public Speaking Skills?
Speaking is a powerful weapon if used wisely. If shared in the right speech, good ideas and knowledge could change and influence a large number of people. So, here are some points that discuss ways to improve public speaking skills.
Despite having the right words, many people freeze when asked to speak in front of an audience. The funny thing is that speaking is so natural that people often ignore how difficult it can be for some people to speak in public. Studies have proved that nearly 75% of the population faces Glossophobia, which is the fear of public speaking. It can affect different people in diverse ways. Some people may forget what they were speaking in the middle of their speech or take long breaks between their sentences, and some might even experience a panic attack in extreme cases.
These problems might lead to a person losing their confidence and prevent them from speaking even when they have immense knowledge and ideas to share.
We researched some of the best tips for ways to improve public speaking skills. So if you’re wondering how to become better at speaking, or always have this question ‘how can I improve my speaking skills’ running in your mind all the time, here’s a list of our top 5 ways which will help you. Follow this the next time you’ve got to give that presentation or give a speech.
Start Learning With a Positive Attitude
Every improvement process starts with learning. Learning the right process, the right steps, the right approach, and the number of times you might fail. A positive attitude is very necessary if you want to become a confident, compelling speaker. Knowing that you might fail and that it is okay to fail is meant by positive learning. It is important to know that nobody becomes an expert at something overnight. Accept the fact that learning is a journey, and it might take you some time before you start seeing the results. Otherwise, you will get demotivated if you fail once or twice.
Here’s a little quote to boost up your motivation.
It’s not always possible to avoid failure, but there’s always a way to reduce the possibilities. Think about what it is that might lead to failure. While speaking in public, the slightest of mistakes might waver your confidence in yourself. So before start speaking, keep these things in mind:
- Create a roadmap of the points you are going to cover in your speech – Before you start speaking, take at least 2-3 minutes to create a roadmap of the points you’re going to discuss. This will help maintain the flow of your speech because you would know what you’re going to say next.
- Write down your speech – Writing down what you will speak will help you improve public speaking. Firstly, practicing the written speech will help you remember what you have to say in the correct order. Otherwise, you may change the order of your points each time you practice. Secondly, you can always refer to your written speech if you forget any of the points you noted.
- Know your audience – One of the best tips to improve public speaking is to know who you are going to speak for. Knowing your audience will help you in preparing accordingly. You’ll know what type of questions the audience might ask, what tone and words you should use to get your point across
- Know your environment – Keep an idea of where you are going to speak. How many people will be there, and would or wouldn’t you be able to address all of them from where you speak. After you know all this, practice accordingly. Even in the case of online presentations, you should check beforehand if a good network is available. Learn about all the in-call features of the software you’re going to use to present so that you can utilize them if you need them during the call.
- Practice and polish your skills – Continuous and steady practice has no alternative. The key to improving and enhancing your communication skills is never to settle down. Once you feel like you’ve practiced enough and you know everything, challenge yourself and find new ways to improve. Here’s a few ways in which you can practice your skills to improve communication.
- Practice in front of a mirror – Learn your points by heart and start practicing in front of a mirror. This way, you will be able to see where you’re making mistakes, if your body language is okay, your gestures and expressions. All of these matters a lot and enhance the quality of your speech to a great extent. Once you know where and why you’re making mistakes, it will be easier to work on them and improve your communication skills.
- Take help from others – Ask your friends and colleagues to help you practice. Speaking in front of other people will give you the experience to speak in front of an audience. The other person could tell you where your speech needs improvement. If the other person asks you questions related to the speech, you will have an idea of what type of questions people may ask.
- Record a video of yourself speaking – Recording your speech will help you detect if you’re making any mistakes in your speech. Is your tone alright? Are you clear in what you want to convey? Did you stumble somewhere? When you answer all these questions, ask yourself how I can improve my speech and start working on them.
Take advice and reviews
Don’t be ashamed of asking people what they did and didn’t like about your speech. Remember that all feedback that people give you is not going to be positive. Learn to accept praise and criticism equally. After all, it’s the criticism that’s going to help you improve. It can be harsh sometimes, but if you take it positively and work upon becoming a confident, compelling speaker, it is just going to help you hone your skills.
Even at places where people don’t give you feedback, ask for it. Ask the event attendees to share their feedback on your speech. Talk to event managers and organizers to send you their reviews on your presentation. Note down the points of improvement that other speakers beside you are getting. You may not notice it in the short run, but this practice will definitely prove to be one of the most effective ways and approaches to improve your public speaking skills.
Tell a story, don’t just give a speech
As humans, we tend to connect and relate more to a story than some random facts thrown at us. So, while you prepare your speech, try to build a story. This doesn’t mean you have to leave out on the facts rather you have to find a way to include those facts interestingly into your story. The audience will enjoy a story and remember it for a much longer time than a speech that delivers some of the information or facts.
Learn from the best
Honestly, there’s a ton of free content available on the internet that you can use to learn and improve your communication skills. Watch TED talks on YouTube and see what qualities great speakers have and how can you inculcate them to improve your speaking skills. Utilize websites like Toastmasters to engage with a community of speakers to share your experiences and problems and work on solutions and improvements. Dig in some courses on Coursera and Udemy level up your skills and build confidence in your speech.
How to improve public speaking skills for online presentations?
Since the year 2020, we have seen most businesses shifting to online platforms. This has spiked the usage of online public speaking. Be it a lecture you have to deliver or a presentation; it has become important to improve public speaking skills for online presentations. Here are two main tips you need to rock any online presentation.
- Prepare yourself beforehand – Even if you’re presenting on an online platform, it’s necessary that you prepare your speech before the actual presentation. You may wonder, it’s an online presentation and I can just take help from the notes but even if you do that it’ll lead to a lot of stumbling and pausing. So, preparing beforehand will also increase your confidence.
- Learn everything about the platform you’re ping to use for the presentation – Technology saves a lot of problems, but is not easy to learn and use technology to its fullest. Learn to operate the platform you’re using to your best. Learn how to share anything during the presentation, in call messages, or any other features.
No matter if you’re speaking online or offline, feedback is always necessary. It tells you where you can improve. It will help you get better and enhance your public speaking skills even more.
While working on public speaking skills, the only thing that would actually make a difference is your determination to excel in the field.
By Andrea Crook
I am Marketing Manager at Digitalize Trends. My role is to research & ideate on trending topics & need to write the niche content as per industry norms. To help & provide relevant information to the community on trending technologies.