Depending on the nature of your career it could be very important that you acquire the skills and ability to speak and get people acting through your words. Public speaking or even speech making has never been easy for many people; I have known people who would rather die than be left in front of a small audience to make a presentation. Public Speaking along with spiders, heights, snakes etc, is one of the most common phobia people have.
But the truth is the better you become at speaking before people the better for your career especially if you work in an interaction based and people oriented career area. Better public speaking skills is almost very essential if you aspire to leadership positions in your chosen career.
If you are willing to try and become good or better in communicating publicly here are some nice ideas;
1. Become a Storyteller
When trying to address or talk to a gathering of people the last thing you need is to be tensed up. One way to put both yourself and the audience at ease as a public speaker is to tell stories, stories that are relevant of course to the speech at hand. Stories make you come across as human and makes your speech more memorable.
Before each speech try to pull into your past experiences and find a story that matches and illustrates what your speech is all about. It doesn’t have to be funny; it just needs to be a good and brief story that the audience can follow and certainly understand. When you get the hang of story telling it eventually makes your speech making much more fun and easier.
2. Preparation is The Key to Great Speeches
Just as in every valuable accomplishment you cannot discount the importance of preparation. For your public speeches and discussions your preparation has to be strategic and effective. If especially your speech is of very great importance to your career progression for instance you are presenting before a group of clients it is a no no to try and ‘wing’ your way through the speech.
First have a clear roadmap of what you are to be talking on and break them down to the key points. Do additional sufficient research for your statistics and figures to use if necessary (it can be bad for your image to quote wrong information).
3. Be Passionate
You should probably make this a rule. If you aren’t passionate about what you do or what you are to talk about chances are that you may not convey the message with passion. Learn all you can about what you are going to speak on and make yourself familiar with the key points of the topic.
If you spend your time talking about something you do not have a great level of interest on you are probably wasting your time in the wrong profession.
4. Take Note of Your Vocal and Bodily Communication
While delivering a speech the vocal rhythm, pitch and tone of your voice determines how well enough your talk comes across. Monotonous tones are a bore to the audience.
In addition to your voice delivery your body postures, actions etc pass a message across as well and can hinder or help in your speech delivery. You don’t want to be too mechanical, flailing your arms here and there wildly or standing still while the only part of your body that moves will be your lips.
As you address your audience they will read your facial expressions, your voice tone and how your body moves along with your talk.
Strive for a warm smile now and then and most times a calm facial appearance, moderate body movement in line with the various aspects of your speech. If the audience perceives you are strung up, pensive and tense it affects their reception of your talk. Better to appear calm, easy and composed. The audience will most certainly warm up to your speech if they read your disposition and see you are cool, calm and friendly.
5. Connect With Your Audience
No matter who you are speaking to one skill you need to learn is how to connect with and carry along your audience. You shouldn’t talk down to them or seek to prove that you are smarter than they are. Of course in many situations you might be the expert talking to the rest of the group but trying to impress them with your intellect will naturally create a distance or disconnect between you and them. Be real and approachable and more importantly try to detect the mood of the audience and adjust accordingly.
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