How to Become a Better Public Speaker
To prepare students for giving speeches, lectures, or presentations in front of big crowds of people, schools frequently teach public speaking skills. This can be terrifying because most people have stage fright at the notion of not being able to perform well in front of a large audience. The good news is that you can utilize several tactics to improve how you interact with your audience, lower the likelihood that you’ll forget a line, and generally help you become a better public speaker.
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Why is public speaking important?
You might believe that only academic settings are appropriate for public speaking, but this couldn’t be further from the reality. There is a whole new universe of public speaking waiting to be unveiled in the outside world as well, even though the majority of public speaking situations students have encountered are extemporaneous speaking or lectures.
Politicians frequently use public speaking during campaigns to reach a wide audience while keeping the number of speeches they must deliver to just one. And since public speaking feels far more intimate than a television broadcast, this is a terrific method to win even more of his constituents’ love and support. Public speaking can also occur in the workplace, for example, when team members discuss their project plans or a subordinate makes an effort to propose a proposal to the representatives of all the major conglomerate players.
In some cases, you must deliver a speech after winning an award or accomplishing a goal. Or can you picture yourself making a congratulatory speech at your best friend’s wedding? These are just a few examples of how public speaking can be useful in both the academic and non-academic worlds.
Why is public speaking relevant?
Speaking in front of an audience might advance more than just one part of your academic career. Early practice in the art of public speaking can offer you a significant confidence and experience advantage over your classmates. This confidence can then be directed to other professions that also require confidence, such as when you defend your thesis or present an article. A skilled public speaker will have more confidence and will be less likely to face panic attacks than inexperienced ones. You can become far more aware of what the audience finds intriguing and how to handle them in future scenarios by reflecting on your previous public speaking experiences.
How to become a better public speaker?
There are several ways to hone your public speaking abilities; some are simple, like giving the same speech repeatedly, while others are challenging, like avoiding fillers whenever your mind wanders over what to say next. But worry not, we have listed a few that may help make you a better speaker.
1. Plan your speech ahead
Before giving a speech in front of an audience, think about how you will address the speech and what tone would work best for the situation. Only then will you be able to improve as a public speaker. When it comes to public speaking, preparation is crucial and frequently makes the difference between a well-executed speech and one that isn’t.
When you have to speak in front of an audience, the tension starts even before you start speaking. Consider whether any of the material you plan to discuss in your speech could offend or anger your audience in any way. Based on the environment where you will deliver the speech, prepare the tone of your speech. If you use a sarcastic tone when you are in a professional setting, it won’t help you.
2. Create a reliable piece
Create a solid piece of writing in advance of the public address as another thing you may do to avoid having to start your speech fresh each time you forget it. You can always go back and edit what you wrote in your paper, but you can never undo a badly produced public speech. By doing this, you strengthen both the structure and the content of your speech, as repeated review can make it even stronger than it was before.
3. Practice your speech
Practice is our final piece of advice for enhancing your public speaking abilities before you actually speak in front of an audience. And not just a few times, but often, until you are as comfortable with your piece as you are with the area where you were born and raised. By practicing, you can reduce the possibility that you’ll forget some of your speech, which could send you into a panic attack. You become much more educated about the subject matter by continuously practicing your piece, which helps to reduce the likelihood of any unanswered questions when giving a thesis or any presentation.
4. Relate to your audience
Finally, we have reached the section of the list where you will actually be speaking in front of a large audience. Involving your audience in your presentation is the best method to keep their interest and keep them from getting bored.
To make audience members feel involved, you can pose questions about your presentation to arbitrary members of the crowd. Then you can incorporate audience participation into your presentation or make remarks that your audience can identify with. Any attempt to include your audience will significantly boost their engagement and focus on your speech. There is always a limit to how much you can include the audience, but as long as it comes across as a formal speech and not a kid’s program, you should be fine.
5. Be aware of your body language
Body language is crucial when speaking in front of an audience. You must be aware that your presentation can be somewhat influenced by your body language. The subliminal cues your body language gives away about how you are feeling inside will be visible to your audience. Your audience may infer that you are anxious from subtle behaviors like fidgety hands, lip chewing, frequent pauses between sentences that have no purpose, or wobbly and unstable standing. Additionally, a tense speaker is seldom engaging.
Try to be aware of these details and adjust them so that you exhibit few to no indicators of uncertainty and fear. This will prevent your body language from expressing how you truly feel on the inside. It is considerably more intriguing to listen to a confident speaker than a worried one because the former can better hold the audience’s attention.
6. Be confident and take deep breaths
Regarding the previous discussion on confidence, it’s crucial to not only mask overt signs of anxiety but also to exude confidence in front of your audience. Most people associate charisma with confidence, which makes them more receptive to public speakers. Being more confident also makes you less likely to experience panic episodes when speaking in front of an audience.
Not only can panic make you forget certain sections of your speech, but it also sets off a chain reaction of issues that quickly get worse. Taking occasional deep breaths also makes it simple to avoid panic. Numerous studies have shown that deep breathing can reduce stress and help you get out of a variety of difficult situations. Avoiding superfluous body language and taking slow, deep breaths will help you calm down and get back on track with your speech or presentation if you find yourself caught in a section of it that you have forgotten.
7. Avoid using useless fillers
Students frequently utilize fillers to pass the time as they try to recall the next set of words for their presentation. These statements are frequently unnecessary and just serve to demonstrate that the speaker is taking their time to think of what to say next. Words like “uhm,” “well,” “so,” or any other word that is frequently uttered in a brief period of time are some of the most common fillers.
Fillers often make your speech seem uninteresting and poorly thought out while also making you feel unprofessional and monotonous. You can choose to pause for a few seconds rather than utilizing fillers as you consider what to say next. This makes it possible for your subsequent words to have an impact and draw the audience’s attention. To avoid appearing to have forgotten what you were about to say, keep your pauses to no more than a few seconds.
We understand the dilemma that comes with delivering a public speech, especially if you are not truly confident with yourself just yet. However, public speaking is important and something that you may have to do one way or another may it be in school or in the future. If you are still feeling hesitant after trying the techniques we have listed above, we do have another technique that may be useful – fake it until you make it. At the end of the day, no one in the audience will know if your confidence is genuine or not, all they will see is you being the best public speaker they have seen and heard.