Public speaking is a great skill to have, whether you’re giving a presentation at work or just telling some funny stories during a speech at a family reunion. To become a better public speaker can even help improve your day-to-day interactions and relationships by making you feel more comfortable in conversation, no matter who’s on the other end of it.
Even if you are not looking to be become a professional public speaker, there are lots of reasons why getting better at speaking in front of others is smart. Whether you want to get up in front of groups for work, school, or personal reasons, public speaking has many benefits that will improve every area of your life. Some people fear public speaking because they think they aren’t “good” enough at it. But good public speakers are not born, they’re made.
Public speaking doesn’t have to be terrifying when you know how to tackle it head-on. The benefits of Public Speaking include improved self-confidence, increased public speaking skills, and comfort with talking in front of others—and that’s just for starters. Many Public Speakers also find that their Public Speaker ability translates into more success at work and school, and more enjoyable interpersonal interactions everywhere they go.
Here are some tips and tricks to become a Better Public Speaker today:
1. Communicate your message effectively
What you say is not nearly as important as how you say it when speaking in public. If you communicate the wrong message or come across as inauthentic, your audience will lose interest no matter how good your material is. Be sure to focus on your key points and make eye contact with your audience members to connect with them on a personal level.
2. Use visual aids
If you can, use visual aids to support your presentation. This could be anything from PowerPoint slides, to props, or even just hand gestures. Using visual aids will help keep your audience engaged and make it easier for them to follow along. If used correctly, visual aids can increase the impact on your message.
Do you want your speech to be memorable? Here are a few statistics to keep in mind from a study done at a communication organization:
- Only 70% of people can remember content presented verbally, 3 hours after a presentation.
- There is a 85% retention of information rate for a presentation with visual content, 3 hours after a presentation.
So how valuable are visual aids? Well, the data tell us that approximately one out of every people cant remember a presentation unless there were visual aids included!
But remember, these are just “aids” and it’s not to replace your speech!
3. Practice, practice, practice
Very simple Truth: The more you practice, the better you’ll become at public speaking. It’s important to get comfortable with your material so that you don’t feel nervous when you’re up on stage or in front of a group.
4. Speak in public often
As counterintuitive as it might seem, the best way to get better at public speaking is to speak more often. The more you speak in front of different audiences and use different types of media (such as slideshows), the more comfortable and confident you’ll become in your speaking ability.
Has the COVID19 Pandemic limited your opportunities to speak on a stage? Well, the good news is that not all is lost!
5. Keep it simple
Don’t try to overcomplicate your material when speaking in front of a group. If some complex ideas or processes need to be explained, break them down into baby steps so that people will be able to follow along easily. Public speakers who keep things simple don’t intimidate their audience with complex ideas and processes.
6. Don’t apologize for Nervousness
If you’re nervous, it’s OK to let your viewers know they can expect some fumbling around- (for example “I am nervous this morning in front of you all because what I am about to explain, maybe the most important message you hear this month”). A statement like that can even help you gain a deeper connection with your audience. Once you acknowledge your nervousness, it becomes less of a factor in your speaking ability, and you will able to highlight your personality in your speech.
7. Watch yourself on video
Many public speakers are surprised to find that their “confident talk” comes across very differently when viewed from an audience’s point of view. Watching yourself on video gives you the opportunity to see your speaking ability objectively and improve where needed. It could even be helpful to have someone review the footage and provide constructive criticism.
Bonus Tip: Continue to Learn
The more you learn about the tools & techniques of public speaking, the more efficient you will become. Here are some online resources to help you improve your skills:
- LinkedIn Learning has 40 courses on public speaking alone, and another 500+ courses on communication. These are all taught by expert instructors which speak to the excellent course quality. Sign Up for a 30 Day Free Trial!
- Check out SkillShare for online public speaking/communication classes taught by industry experts. Sign up as you can join SkillShare for 40% Off!
- VirtualSpeech– Build skills with award-winning courses. Learn with online classes and then practice in virtual reality or web-based simulations.
- Masterclass- The platform to learn from the World’s Best.
- Consider taking a virtual course with Brian Tracy https://space4speaking.com/BrianTracy/6-figure-speaker, a multiple NY Times Best-Selling Author who as a Keynote Speaker addresses 250,000 people each year. Right now, you can attend this course for 50% off!
- NeuroGym Course- HOW TO MANAGE FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY IN TOUGH TIMES by John Assaraf. This course will help you to Overcome debilitating fears, anxieties, and stress preventing you from achieving your goals. Develop unwavering confidence and emotional mastery to handle any situation.