Most of us have found ourselves having to address a crowd at some point. Whilst some people thrive under the spotlight, others might need a little encouragement and coaching. We have put together a guide to help you to master the art of public speaking.
This guide will show you how you overcome your public speaking anxiety, what sets great orators apart and provide techniques to help you improve your public speaking skills.
Why is Public Speaking such a Great Skill to Have?
It doesn’t matter whether you are at college or whether you are embarking on your career journey because public speaking can help you to set yourself apart. It will also help you to feel more confident, giving you the edge you need to take on any leadership role.
If you run a small business then public speaking can help you out greatly here, helping you to not only be more authentic, lead with charisma and ease as well as improving your communication skills.
At the end of the day, public speaking is one of the best ways for you to get your point across, and it also helps you to demonstrate your knowledge and influence. Many people who look comfortable when speaking publicly, start out with a fear of public speaking. If you can take the time to overcome this fear and gain confidence then you will soon find that you can give yourself a huge advantage in everyday life.
How do you Become a Better Public Speaker?
If public speaking is likel to become a part of your daily life due to career change or another reason, take heart! It is just another muscle that can be developed with enough exercise.
1. Study the Greats
Watching and then learning from famous public speakers is one of the best ways for you to improve your skills. YouTube and TEDx are two platforms that are full of inspiring videos which can serve as a free and powerful guide. Study Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech. Watch award ceremonies like the Golden Globes.
Best selling author Robin Sharma, President of the United States, John F Kennedy, Nick Vujicic, Former PM of UK Winston Churchill, Life Coach Tony Robbins, former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela all have one thing in common. They are expert public speakers whose keynotes have moved millions of people to instigate change, and alter the course of history.
2. Use Relaxation Techniques
If you have a fear of public speaking-also known as glossophobia- then this can have a significant impact on your nervous system.
Anxiety might affect you in a number of ways and it will almost immediately be communicated through your body language. Even the best public speakers have to make sure that they maintain their posture and they also make eye contact with the audience too. They also make an effort to move in a way that looks natural.
3. Practice Breathing
You may find that when you are speaking publicly, that you end up speaking faster than you would normally. If you can, you have to make sure that you are aware of this and that you make the effort to maintain a steady pace when the time comes for you to present.
If you can do this then you will soon find that it is easier for you to calm your nerves. This also allows the audience to follow your talk more smoothly.
Use your stomach to push the air in and out of your lungs, and before you go and speak publicly, take the time and have 10 slow and deep breaths.
4. Prepare some Talking Points
Spend the planning phase productively by researching your topic well and preparing bullet points which can double as prompts. Try to really picture the impact you want your speech to have on the audience.
Start with three to five broad messages but then take the time to underline any specific points you may want to make, so each one can be supported.
5. Know your Audience
Understanding your crowd is crucial as it informs the writing process. Think about what is essentially important to them and what take-aways and learnings you would like them to leave it.
6. Adding a Visual Component
Visual aids are very helpful tools. There are various presentation softwares and applications. Just choose one that is easy to use and make sure your presentation is full of engaging visuals.
Text-heavy presentations are not very engaging.Try and create slides that have images or graphs. Keep your text to short bullet points instead.
Guy Kawasaki and Tony Fadell are experts in using minimal and plain slides but delivering a memorable speech.
7. Practise if you Can
Practice makes perfect. Artists, singers, athletes, crafts people, will all say the more you practise a skill the easier it gets. Perfecting your public speaking skills and overcoming your public speaking fear are all possible if you devote time to hone this skill.
8. Record Yourself
This is one of the best public speaking tips you could easily implement at home. Take note of how your voice sounds and also how your body language comes across.
If you want some additional help then remember, it is more than possible for you to sign up with a public speaking London course. When you do, you can then learn “public speaking, how to improve” and more.
9. Ask your friends and family to become your audience
Try and draft in your loved ones so they can watch you speak. Ask them to share their honest opinion. Agents for public speakers will often help you as well, so make sure that you take note of tips and hints online.
10. Take a Class
Even the greatest public speakers have to go back to basics from time to time. Professional speaking is definitely a skill that you can improve.
Joining a course can help you meet more people who are on a similar carer trajectory to yours. A class could be what you need to become one of the best public speakers in the world, so don’t overlook what a powerful resource this can be.
11. Work with a Professional Actor/Coach
At the end of the day, public speaking is a form of acting. And as with any performance there are tips and tricks that actors use from voice control to loosen your vocal cords. Motivating speakers have a toolbox of techniques at their disposal to plan, craft, rehearse and deliver a life changing speech.