Improving your public speaking skills is not just for professional speakers but all professionals. Public speaking can help you gain better contacts, promote your business and help you to excel in your career.
Here are eight ways you can improve your skills as a public speaker. FYI, I got a few of these from an Entrepreneur article.
Get to Know your Audience
Every speaker must understand their audience to learn about their needs and expectations. You should consider the age, gender, education, religion, and what they know about you. What you know about them prior to your speech will help you succeed and be prepared for what is to come.
Prepare the Venue
One of the biggest issues speakers have is the audiovisual setup. The best thing you can do is to not leave anything to chance. Let the host know what you might need for the lecture. Will you use a microphone with a cord or a cordless mic? Determine which will help you feel confidence and move comfortable.
Consider Your Height
Will you be standing on a podium but uncomfortable due to your height? Consider standing on the wooden block instead. This will help boost your height when you need it the most. On the other hand, consider moving freely without the podium.
Arrive in Advanced
Arriving early will help you to prepare your materials and speech. This will help you prepare any technical kinks and test the equipment to ensure that everything works well. Ensure to scope the space when it is available and do what you need to do to get comfortable.
For most events, the host will formally introduce you and back the audience with a quick biography. You can help make it easier by sending them a few notes of details about yourself to better introduce yourself. You can include a list of items and bullet points instead of writing the introduction as a paragraph.
Start with Ice Breakers
There are many ways you can warm up the crowd before you start your speech. You can start by playing an icebreaker game that will get the crowd to liven up and participate. You can also tell a story related to your speech, share a joke or even a famous quote that relate to the subject of your talk.
Appreciate Their Attention
While you know your topic from the inside out, you won’t be able to hold their attention if you are boring and lack energy. As the saying goes, there are no dull topics, but only dull speakers. Many speeches end up failing because they don’t spark up the interest of the listeners.
Use Sparse Notes
Some speakers work will with notes, while others look simply unprepared. You can tell who has had years of experience or who lacks experience by how they use their notes during the speech. Using power points are increasingly becoming unpopular as experts believe that power points will force you to make eye contact with them rather than the audience.
What other tips do you have on improving your speaking skills? Comment below and share your tips with us!