10 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
What are public speaking skills?
Public speaking skills are the necessary abilities that are required of an individual to give out information to a gathering the listening audience. It can either be face-to-face or through a channel. Thus, for public speaking to be effective, there must be an audience who is consuming the information.
There are other forms of public speaking, which may not demand a gathering, yet, people are listening. Such as the TV and Radio broadcast, the town crier, the morning preacher, etc. Therefore, this other form does not necessarily need face-to-face interaction.
What are the necessary skills for public speaking?
Maybe you have been speaking to the public on many occasions but each time you prepare to engage them you become nervous. Again, you love the act of standing before a group audience to deliver important information but each time you want to do so you feel discouraged.
Sometimes, you might have been doing it but not in a perfect or near-perfect way. It all goes down to interpret the fact that you do not have the skill or complete skill to perform as a public speaker.
So, what are the skills?
Confidence: This is the trust and conviction you must have in yourself that you can do things irrespective of the circumstances that surround you.
Courage: This is the challenge you are giving yourself to do something tough irrespective of how difficult it might prove.
Smartness: This is the critical thinking and intelligence you applied in doing something, quickly and correctly
Calculative: This refers to being purposeful, striving to carry out a wish or make a dream come through
Articulate: you must be very conversant, knowledgeable and a fluent speaker in the language you choose to make your speech.
Ways you can improve your public speaking skills
Develop a positive mindset toward your speech
If you are the type that usually gets nervous each time, you want to appear before the public then you need to cross-check yourself. Check if the information is genuine and that every bit of words you are going to convey is a fact. Doing this will clear all doubts thoughts and feelings and keep your mind at peace. Once the information is accurate it will rather uplift your spirit to perform better than being edgy.
Study your audience
Without a doubt, you would not be giving any kind of message to your audience. You need to know what information to give a particular listener. All information has a particular people that need it, also when and where you need to deliver it
For instance, you are trying to organize a free seminar workshop for youth empowerment. You have to prepare a venue for it and invite them and not just come all out on a marketplace and start giving your lectures. Doing the latter will be a time waste and you might not get the complete attention you need.
Prepare your information beforehand
It is very important to rehearse your information a number of times. Go through the details and make corrections. Think of the necessary questions your audience might ask within and after delivering the message. Imagine a picture of yourself standing in front of your audience and giving a speech. Proper preparation will shove off fears and anxiety and make you ever willing to meet your audience.
Shove off the shyness
One way of improving your public speaking skill and landing yourself as an expert speaker is to develop a courageous mind. It starts by creating an atmosphere of humor for your audience. Maybe you can say one funny thing to engage their attention or ask a simple general question. This little move will certainly give you the courage to perform well.
Put a smile on your face
This is one way of encouraging your audience and at the same time improving your speaking skills. Even if you are using other channels like the media to convey your message you can put up a light tone. It indicates a friendly mood that the speaker is happy and meant well to his audience. A smiling face will encourage the audience to be attentive and respond back cheerfully.
Avoid eye contact with your listeners
This applies to a situation where you will be speaking to your audience face-to-face. As a first-timer, do not shoot glances steadily at people but do it sporadically. Sometimes you can just choose to shoot glances at the empty air. This is to enable you to cover all the topics you prepare to dish out to them the exact way you want it. As time goes when you become conversant with eye contact, you can choose to look at your audience’s faces while delivering your speech.
Avoid trembling voices
This is usually the situation with first-timers or some pro speakers who do not prepare properly before engaging their audience. They become confused and at loss in the middle of their message. This can be so embarrassing and does not portray a skillful public speaker. As a first-timer, having prepared properly, take a glass of water and take a deep breath before appearing before your audience.
Learn to speak fluently
It depends on the language you are using to convey your message but whichever be the dialect make sure you are speaking it effortlessly. Do not appear to be stammering or like one who is strange to the language. This can give your audience a funny impression that may warrant them to start giving you corrections.
Always have a pen and paper at hand
Some audiences can be mischievous and want to argue your knowledge. Rather wait at the end of your speech they would prefer to interrupt you by asking questions in the middle of your speech. This is where you prove your skill best. While having a pen and paper at hand jot down your last statement or just make a sketch of where you stop. Then after answering your audience’s question, you can resume from where you stopped. Otherwise, you may be at a loss of where to start again.
Avoid steady gazing at the floor
Your audience might view and regard you as a timid person if you gaze at the floor at irregular intervals. You might not be a shy person but this act can give them a negative impression of you. They may think you are a novice who is just trying out. So rather gaze steadily at the floor, once in a while shot glances at your audience then at the floor.
In conclusion, everyone needs public speaking skills, because directly or indirectly we tend to convey information that draws public attention. Public speaking does not only mean when you stand in front of a large gathering and giving out information. It goes on to include when you lecture or give out messages to people outside your family gathering. It may be in your neighborhood, workplace, or church. what matters is the group gathering.