Do you know what a pastor, politician, and comedian have in common? If you thought about anything other than they all regularly speak in front of a lot of people, then your humor must be on par with the comedian we have mentioned earlier. But on a serious note, this article will cover up what to do in order to become better at public speaking.
Public speaking is a skill often taught in school to prepare students when they face a large amount of individuals to present a speech, lecture, or presentation. This can often be nerve-racking as most individuals fear the thought of failing to present properly in front of a lot of people and thus induce stage fright.
The bright side to this is that you can become better at public speaking with the use of various techniques to improve how you approach your audience, reduce the risk of any forgotten lines, and help you become an overall better public speaker.
You might think that public speaking is only limited to the confines of the academic universe, but this thought is further away from the truth. Yes, while most public speaking scenarios students have encountered are extemporaneous speaking or lectures, there is a whole new world of public speaking ready to be unfolded in the outside world as well.
As mentioned earlier, politicians often use public speaking during campaigns in order for them to reach a large number of supporters while limiting the amount of speeches they have to execute to a single speech. And this is a great way to harbour the support and affection of his constituents even more as public speaking feels much more personal than a television broadcast.
You can also encounter public speaking in the office where members of a team discuss what they intend to do with their project or a subordinate trying his best to present his proposition to the representatives of each major player in the conglomerate.
There are also situations where you have to give a speech after you receive an award or achievement. Or can you envision yourself giving a speech of congratulations in the wedding of your best friend? These are just a few of the ways that public speaking can be relevant, not only in the academic world, but in the outside world as well.
Public speaking is not only a means to an end but can also improve other aspects of your academic career as well. An early start to mastering the art of public speaking can give you a great advantage over your peers when it comes to confidence and experience.
A good public speaker will have better confidence and will be less prone to panic attacks than inexperienced ones, this confidence can then be redirected to other fields that need confidence as well such as when you defend your thesis or present an essay.
Previous experiences with public speaking can also enable you to become much more aware of what the crowd deems interesting and how to handle them in future situations.
There are a variety of ways to improve your public speaking skills and some can be as easy as repeating the same speech over and over again while some can be as hard as trying to avoid using fillers every time your brains thinks about what to say next.
Listed below are a few ways on how to become a public speaker:
Before you can become better at public speaking you first need to plan ahead about what you will say, who you will present the speech into, and what tone best fits the atmosphere you will present your speech. Preparation is important when it comes to public speaking and can often be the deciding factor to a well-executed public speech and a poorly executed one.
The battle raging on when you are to speak publicly begins even before you are to present your speech. Think ahead whether any of the contents in your speech may cause insult or any violent reaction from your audience.
Prepare the tone of your speech based on the atmosphere of where you will present the speech. It would do you no good if you have a sarcastic tone when you are in a professional setting.
Another thing you can do before the public speech is to create a reliable piece in paper first, that way you no longer have to formulate your speech from scratch every time you forget about it.
You can always revise what you wrote in your paper but you can never redo a poorly executed public speech. By doing so, you also strengthen your speech’s overall format and contents as the continued revision can help it become an even better piece than it was before.
If you have wavering confidence in your writing skills, especially in the English language, then why not hire a tutor from us at FamilyTutor? We are a home tuition in Singapore that provides you with highly skilled and capable tutors to suit your academic needs. If you want to learn more about English to make you more capable to write speeches, then you can click here.
The last bit of advice we can give you to improve your public speaking skills before you actually speak in front of people is to practice. And not just to practice your piece a few times but to practice it repeatedly until you are familiar with it like the neighbourhood you were born and raised in.
Practice allows you to mitigate the risk of you forgetting parts of your speech which could lead you to spiral into panic mode. By practicing your piece repeatedly, you also become much more knowledgeable about the topic you will present to limit the occurrence of any unanswered questions when presenting a thesis or any presentation.
We are finally in the part of the list where you are actually speaking in front of a lot of people. And the best way to grab your audiences’ attention and prevent them from getting bored is to include your audience in your presentation.
You can ask questions related to your presentation to random people in the audience to make them feel like they are part of the presentation. Then you can also include activities involving your audience to your presentation or make statements where your audiences can relate to.
Any effort to include your audience will greatly increase your audience’s participation and attention towards your speech. However, there is always a limit to how much you can include your audience, as long as it still feels like a public speech and not a children’s show, then you are good to go.
Body language is also very important when speaking publicly. You must understand that body language can also affect your presentation to an extent. Your audience will be aware of the subtle clues your body language portrays about what you are feeling inside.
Subtle actions such as fidgety hands, lip biting, constant pauses in between lines that serve no purpose or shaky and unstable footing can often lead to your audience inferring that you are nervous. And a nervous speaker is never an interesting one.
Instead of letting your body language dictate how you feel inside, try to be mindful of these subtleties and try to correct them to show little to no signs of doubt and nervousness. A confident speaker is much more interesting to listen at than a nervous one as a confident speaker can grab hold of the audience’s attention better than a nervous one.
With the subject matter of confidence discussed earlier, it is also important to not only hide subtle signs that you are nervous, but to be confident and portray it to your audience as well. Confidence is correlated to charisma by most people and, in turn, draws them in when they are listening to a public speech. Confidence also enables you to become less prone to forgetting parts of your speech as you can avoid panic attacks when speaking publicly.
Panic not only causes you to forget parts of your speech, but also creates a snowball of problems rolling downhill fast. And panic can be easily avoided by taking deep breathes every now and then.
Taking deep and slow breathes has been proven multiple times to promote a calmer mind and body and can help you out of a lot of stressful situations. If you are stuck in a part of the speech you have forgotten, then you must try to avoid any unnecessary body language and breathe slow deep breathes to help calm yourself and get you back in track of your speech or presentation.
Fillers are words commonly used by students to fill in time while they are remembering the next set of words for their presentation. These words are often irrelevant and only serve to show the speaker is clearly taking his/her time to remember what to say next. Words such as “uhm”, “well”, “so”, or any word repeatedly used over the course of a short period of time.
Fillers only make you feel unprofessional and repetitive and can often make your speech feel uninteresting and poorly thought of. To avoid using fillers when thinking of what to say next, you can opt to pause for a few seconds instead. This enables your next words to be impactful and catch your audience’s attention. However, make sure to limit your pauses to a few seconds as any more would make you seem like you have totally forgotten you speech.
If you have any spare time after your public speech, or you really want to improve your public speaking skills, then try to record your public speeches and watch them later on. This allows you to become knowledgeable of your flaws and good points to learn what you need to improve and what parts you are already good at.
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