Public speaking is often considered one of the most difficult things for people who are not naturally gifted with a silver tongue. It's hard to know where to start, what you should wear, and how you're supposed to act when you stand in front of an audience. Many of us are at a stage in life where we have to speak in public.
Whether it is giving a speech, making an announcement at work, or talking to your boss about something you messed up on, the pressure can be pretty intense. Public speaking can be one of the most daunting tasks that you will do in your lifetime. It's a skill that is not for the faint of heart, and it takes time to perfect. The good news is that you can take many steps to become more confident with public speaking.
If you want to be a more impressive public speaker, you have to know how to make your personality shine through. There are many different ways to do this, and you need to find the right way for you. It's also important that you remember these tips so that when speaking in front of people, they will enjoy your presentation and not feel bored or confused.
1. Practice your speech in front of a mirror
Public speaking is a skill that not everyone has. Some people find it difficult to even speak in front of their own mirror, let alone an audience. I have been practicing public speaking for years and am confident that you can do the same thing with just five minutes each day.
In the past, people would practice their speeches in front of empty chairs or sometimes even no one. However, practicing in front of a mirror can help you see how others react to your words and body language without looking around for feedback.
You might be thinking that using an actual person is way more helpful than just looking at yourself talking into thin air. But seeing yourself from another perspective can make it easier for you to identify areas that need improvements, such as posture and eye contact.
2. Speak with confidence and conviction
Have you ever been really nervous about speaking in front of a crowd? Public speaking is a major fear for many people. It can seem like an impossible task to speak with confidence and conviction in front of a large group of people, but there are ways to make it more manageable.
The first step is understanding that public speaking isn't about you - it's about the audience or listeners. It would help if you focused on them and not yourself when preparing speeches or giving presentations. If you connect with your audience, they'll be able to relate to what you're saying and will engage better with your message.
The best public speakers are confident, and they know what they're talking about. They speak with conviction, which is the ability to believe in yourself and your message. If you want to become a better public speaker, start by believing in yourself and your message.
3. Be mindful of your body language, posture, and eye contact
What does it mean to be a good speaker? The answer is actually not as straightforward as you might think. Being a good speaker isn't just about the words coming out of your mouth; it's also about how you carry yourself and what signals you're sending with your body language.
How do you feel when someone is looking at you? Do you love to have people stare, or are you uncomfortable with them looking your way for too long? For many, the latter is true. It can be a little unnerving to have someone's attention focused on us for an extended period of time, and that feeling can carry over into public speaking, especially if it's our first time doing so.
Some people believe that the body can be a powerful instrument for overcoming fear. This is because it is often only our bodies exposed to situations, like public speaking, where we feel anxious about how we will be perceived.
For this reason, many opt to use their posture and other physical cues to manage their anxiety in public speaking. These cues may include: maintaining good eye contact with your audience, standing up straight and tall with an open chest, using gestures (arms or hands) when appropriate, and not fidgeting too much during the talk.
4. Know your audience
Do you want to become a better public speaker? If so, you must know your audience. For example, if one of the demographics in your audience consists of children, it would be best to use humor and make sure you are relatable with them. In addition to knowing who you are speaking to, it is also vital for public speakers to understand their purpose and goal when they speak.
You may have attended some training sessions to improve your skills, but it's never too late to learn more about the art of public speaking. In today's world, with all of the technology available, there are many different types and styles of presentations that can be done in front of an audience.
You know when you are at a party, and someone is telling you about their recent vacation? They start with the basics, what they did, where they went. It's easy to nod your head and say, "oh, that sounds so cool," but then eventually, it gets long-winded. Why do people do this?
The answer is simple: because we don't want to feel like we're being lectured. And yet, ironically enough, many of us are guilty of doing just that in our presentations. Whether it's an intro or a conclusion or somewhere in between, if it feels like a lecture, people will tune out even if it has great content.
5. Prepare for questions from the audience so you can answer them confidently
It's easy to get caught off guard when an audience member asks a question. When you're not expecting it, it can be hard to think of what to say in response and often leads to awkward moments.
Being a good presenter can be challenging. You might have the best content in the world, but if you don't know how to connect with your audience and answer their questions confidently, they're not going to listen to you. You must prepare for questions to know how to answer them confidently and keep the audience engaged in your talk.