10 amazing ways to improve public Speaking:
|How to improve Public Speaking!!|
Lately, I am participating in lots of public speaking events in my office. Every Thursday people from different departments meet under a single roof we call Speaker’s club and present their speeches, presentations, experiences to a large crowd, who are willing to learn. These public speaking activities can be prepared or they can be spontaneous; my personal favorite being spontaneous as you have to quick on deciding which topic you will speak on and it's frankly speaking, is a tough job.
Lots of people ask how one can improve public speaking and they have lots of questions in their mind. How to gather attention of crowd? How to start the speech? How to end the speech? How to work on your pronunciation? What should be the body language? Basically, they ask everything under the sun which relates to public speaking.
So here I present the solutions to be amazing in public speaking and I hope this will really help you to be one of the great speakers present around you:
- Know your crowd: This is something which makes the foundation of the topic you are going to cover in your presentation. It’s like you can’t sing rock songs during prayers and you can’t recite poem when people expects rock performance. So knowing the crowd is important. You have to take care of certain things before you get down to work such as, Size of the crowd, age, gender distribution (You don’t’ want to sound sexist), education/experience, religion (Some of you live in India), relationship you share with the crowd.
- Prepare: The above metrics have been resolved. Now, you can start your preparation. Some events have certain topics which are predefined, while some give you liberty to choose your own topic. Do proper research on your topic and make sure the speech you prepare sticks to time limit which has been decided by the committee. If it’s a three minute long (When you talk you actually understand how long a second can be) prepare for two minutes fifty seconds, so that everything at the time of actual speech is taken care. If it’s a large speech, prepare in chunks and also add few jokes to make it less boring and make people stop yawning when you speak.
- Rehearse correctly: Before hitting the stage, it’s important that you rehearse your speech or presentation few times with actual slides, so that you don’t go out of sync and can curb down your anxiety level. Being anxious is a good sign, because it forces you to deliver things properly and you will be amazed that how well you presented when you were actually little anxious about the setting surrounding you.
- Open up: When you are on stage, don’t get stiff. The people watching you are there because they believe in you and actually want to listen to your thoughts, experiences and want to gain knowledge from you. They are not going to eat you or throw tomatoes on you, so open up be little casual, but make sure your body language complements your topic and your hand movements or stage movements do not overshadow the content you have and your vocal. Don’t move your hand too swiftly or move on stage to and fro to fast that people rather than listening to you start counting the number of steps you have taken. Be gentle as content is the king.
- Dress to impress: Dress immaculately for the occasion. You can’t wear beach suit at official ceremony and you can’t adorn a tie on a beach front. Dress for the occasion and visualize what will be your crowd and what they expect out of this public speaking event. When you look smart, you act smart and you talk. When you are shabby, your thoughts are shabby and so is the way you speak. The confidence is the key and clothes actually impart a lot of confidence in you, believe it or not.
- Pronunciation matters: When you talk your pronunciation is essence of your speech. You don’t want your put sounds like cut and ageing sounds like egging. Listen to British news channel, watch some English movies, take help of Google pronunciation software, watch a lot of Ted talks and Tedx events, and more importantly practice what you learn in front of mirror or record and listen to it. You will definitely improve, that’s my guarantee. I understand the native touch comes when you speak, but that’s understandable and won’t change in one night but constant practice can reduce the native touch and can bring some amount of neutrality to your pronunciation.
- A..hmm...So...basically: These fillers are killers. They spoil your speech and kill the momentum you want to carry when you speak. If you have prepared well for the speech then it’s a sin to use fillers. What about when you are spontaneous? Then the best way is to talk slowly and take calculated pause in between. This pause will actually give you time to think what’s next you want to speak.
- Eye contact: As a kid when I used to recite poems in class, my friend was the ceiling and the poster board in front of me. I hated my teacher and the fifty odd students sitting in front of me and listening to me with intent. But that’s the story of every child, and you are not a child anymore. When you speak, speak with confidence and maintain eye contact with your crowd. Don’t fix your eyes to one person, that’s rude and don’t change eye contacts that fast that nobody knows where you are actually seeing.
- Ask questions: When you interact with the crowd, they get more attentive to your speech and they will listen to you knowing you can ask them a question anytime. Ask questions, make things interactive and see the difference when you speak and make a conversation with people around you.
- Thank us: Thank us when you improve and get standing ovation or loud cheer from the crowd when you complete your speech. Just kidding, just keep working hard and don’t stop even if you get standing ovations. There is too much to learn and too little space to write and share experience.
Drop your questions below and we will be happy to answer them as soon as possible, regarding public speaking and presentations skills.
And till then #DiscoverNewInYou #BetheBest #KeepLearning.