Eight ways to instantly improve your public speaking
Want to be highly paid executive? You’re going to need to master your public speaking skills. Not as easy as it sounds though as nearly three quarters of people suffer from speech anxiety. As scary as it sounds, it can be easily fixed!
- Prioritise preparation. We all know the saying – failing to prepare is preparing to fail. The best way to calm your nerves before public speaking is to make show you arrive prepared. Preparation will also help you to improve the quality of your speaking. Speakers are far more effective if they have practised and thought about what they actually want to say.
- Alter your outlook. How you think about public speaking can affect your nerves, which in turn impacts your delivery. See the speaking opportunity as a chance to share a message which you are passionate about with masses of people. The shift in the mind of ‘you have the power to share a message’ is crucial. This can help you view it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
- Make peace with quiet. To calm your nerves become comfortable with the silence. By not speaking you will naturally feel uncomfortable however, this will allow you to feel present and somewhat calmer. You will also notice your breathing which is key to overcoming your nerves.
Once you've calmed your nerves, there are more steps you can take to advance your public speaking skills.
- Embrace the short and sweet. Talking too long is a common problem with public speakers, most people do not have long listening spans so it is important to use your time wisely and make it memorable.
- Embody energy. You are in charge of the audience therefore, you lead their energy rather than their energy lead you – the speaker. By remembering this you can ensure you turn up with the right energy level needed to deliver a strong presentation.
- Engage in eye contact. Start in your day-to-day life by making eye-contact a habit of yours. When holding a conversation make a connection with a person’s eyes, this way you are talking to them, not at them. This makes all the difference when addressing an audience.
- Turn to TED. Watch some of the highest-rated TED talks and learn from the way the speakers handle themselves. Recruit your friends to give you feedback as you practice techniques.
- Rinse and repeat. With speaking and most things in life the more you practice the more you learn and the better you will get.