Not everybody is born with the public speaking skills of Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King Jr. It’s bad enough to read a story in public, but when you have to perform while giving a speech to live audience; no wonder some people get tongue tied. Captivating an audience takes time and practice. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, here are some tips you need to consider.
One of the best ways to improve public speaking skills is to practice. Spend lots of time writing your speech and then re-writing, editing and refining it so that it is as perfect as it can get. Next, practice saying it out loud. Constant practice is one of the best ways you can perfect your delivery. Don’t limit yourself to practicing in front of the mirror. Enlist the help of family or friends and ask for their feedback or input so that you can improve as a speaker.
Accentuate the Positive
Always be yourself when speaking in public. Don’t focus on the negative and accentuate the positive. If you’re funny, let it show. If you’re a good storyteller, break down complex ideas and weave stories into it to make your speech more compelling.
Invest In Your Audience
The best way to keep your audience listening is to give them what they want. Do they want you to solve a problem? Are they looking for inspiration? Giving them what they want to hear gives them a reason to listen.
Get Comfortable With Your Environment
Check out the location of your speaking event. Arrive a day early so that you can familiarize yourself with the set up. Another good strategy is to plant family or friends among the audience so that they can give encouraging faces and nods when you need it.
Make sure you look good for your day on stage. This will help boost your self confidence which reflects in your body language. Wear your favorite suit or dress and a crisp shirt. Remember when you look good, you feel good. Audiences also make judgments based on your appearance. Make an effort to look good so that you can convey the message you want to.
Start With A Smile
According to studies, a smile can help other people feel at ease. Start your speech with a smile so that audience will warm up to you. Put a big smile on your face to feel relaxed so that your audience will relax too.
Public speaking can drain your energy especially if you’re an introvert. Schedule down time before and after the big event to enjoy and relax so that you can recharge.
Share an Emotional Story
Improve your presentation by telling a self-deprecating story and let your emotions show. Sharing genuine feelings will make the audience connect to you more easily, because they can identify with you better. Don’t use your story to highlight how far you’ve come. Genuine feelings create lasting connections and feelings always trump speaking skills all the time.