Tips For Good Public Speaking Skills

Public speaking can be conquered

What is an idea that is not explained clearly? What is an opportunity lost because you weren’t able to deliver due to poor confidence? Here’s an issue many people face. Trust me, you’re not alone.

Many people grow up confident and outspoken and go into shells. For some others, it’s the opposite. They start off as quiet individuals and life’s circumstances make them work on their confidence.

Before discovering the secrets to public speaking, it’s important to understand how valuable the skill can be for someone. One may find themselves handicapped if they don’t have the optimum presentation and public speaking skills to convey ideas to others.

Companies value this and have labeled it as an asset to their employees. Being able to convince another, express ideas confidently, and precisely helps to spread your ideas effectively. Your leadership skills develop too with public speaking.

How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking | Danish Dhamani | TEDxKids@SMU

Here are some life-changing Public Speaking tips:

1. Know what is normal and accept it

Nervousness, anxiety, sweating, pounding heart, and a racing mind are all part of the excitement of taking the stage. It’s normal, happens to the best of us. It is a physical reaction and nothing more. In no way does this depict the success of your performance. This part just needs getting used to. Accept it as it is.

2. Content is key

Know your audience, and exactly what you want to convey is very important. As the speaker, the aim of the presentation should be crystal clear to you. Only then will you be able to explain it well to your audience. Draft a clear outline, make a note of the key points you want to cover, and figure out the rest of the content as the time allotted.

3. 30 seconds to success

The initial thirty seconds of your speech is what you have to get your audience hooked for the rest of the session. Yes! 30 seconds, and since you know this now, plan it in an interesting manner. A joke, a riddle, a shock, and awe gesture, do whatever you are comfortable with.

4. Length and being smart

The attention span of an adult is 20 minutes, so if you have to go one for longer than that, ensure that there is no monotony in your speech. A joke, a gesture, some type of break helps the audience to stay gripped.

5. Practice and rehearse

Ample rehearsal and practice will build your confidence. When you are clear on your topic and content, rehearse it, the time it, and even get inputs from honest people like friends/family. Take criticism well and improve your performance.

Recording yourself also helps to see yourself “perform”, you will notice certain patterns in your speech. Maybe it’s your physical presence that needs altering, maybe it is your voice/pronunciation, etc. This will help you be comfortable with what people will view you as, and take away some of the anxiety.

If you’re in a C-level position, public speaking is an extremely important skill. It’s a good idea to brush up your skills with executive media training.

6. Eye contact and observing the audience

Confidence exudes itself via eye contact with the audience; it helps them to stay engaged too. Observing their response, via reading facial expressions, body language, etc. will give you hints on how to improvise your speech for better reception.

Fred Elliott Miller Public Speaking Quote
Fred Elliott Miller Public Speaking Quote

The worst speech you’ll ever give will be far better than the one you never give.

Fred E. Miller

If you want external help, don’t be shy to find out about local training programs on public speaking, join a Toastmasters club or do a course on Londonreal. Self-help books may also help. There are YouTubers who share their secrets to public speaking, you can also observe the ones you hold as role models and note their style and what you like about it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Speaker Quote
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It takes practice, and no one got there without practice, in the process; making a fool out of themselves here and there. The audience that didn’t enjoy your performance will probably teach you more than the one that loved you the whole time. One step at a time, do it and build the skill because at the end of the day, it is a skill. And like any other skill, it can be learned, developed, and perfected!

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