There are times when all of us are called on to speak in public. Becoming a better public speaker will help to put your message across with more conviction and elicit a more positive response from your audience. However, it can be difficult to battle nerves, know how to present yourself to others, and arrange your material in an interesting way.
Speaking in public is something that most of us dread even if we are not on the stage addressing thousands of people. It could be that we have to speak to a panel at a job interview, deliver a report in a boardroom, or address people at a corporate event.
What can you do to improve your public speaking skills and give a great impression from your speech? Here are 4 tried and trusted ways to become a better public speaker.
If you are truly convinced on your subject, you will speak with conviction. One way to build conviction and become one of the great public speakers is to become an expert on your subject. You should know your subject from every angle and do more than enough research before speaking. Even in a job interview setting, the more you are sure of your own skills and the more you know about the company, the better.
However, if you are unsure about some aspects of your subject or you don’t really like the theme, that will come through in your speech and your audience will pick up on it.
The three “P”s when it comes to being a great public speaker are practice, practice, and more practice. The better you know your material, then the better speaker you will become.
For example, if you have to deliver a sales pitch to new customers or deliver a report to bosses, you should know every small detail about your subject without having to read them from any notes. If you practice your material well you will be able to deliver it without thinking. This will help you cope with distractions, interruptions, or any technical difficulties.
Even though you probably won’t be asking your audience questions, great public speakers always engage their audience. One way to do this is to ask rhetorical questions and leave some time for the audience to answer the question in their head. This way you mentally engage them.
You should also use hard facts and comparisons to engage your audience mentally. When you can show data, evidence, and other authority references, this mentally stimulates your audience and the will listen more attentively.
You should also avoid undermining your research and preparation by using words like: “I just want to…”, or “I think that…” Don’t limit your authority with personal opinions.
One of the reasons why some speakers find it difficult speaking in front of others is that their mindset is on themselves and their material. To become a better public speaker, think about your audience and how your information can benefit them. If you have followed the previous steps in becoming a great public speaker, this should not be too difficult.
Remember, you are speaking to your audience to deliver information that is of benefit to them. So, try to focus on how the value of your subject rather than on yourself. That can help you to relax and deliver your presentation in a more relaxed and calm manner.