Public Speaking

Introduction:

Public speaking skills are a form of communication where a person is given the opportunity to communicate his thoughts and ideas in public. Public speaking skills can be used for an official or unofficial purpose. If one has gained these skills it would help him in many ways, at both personal and professional levels. Public speaking is an activity that requires natural talent combined with formal training. Many people develop the desire to take up public speaking as a profession.

Why Public Speaking Skills are important?

Public speaking skills are important to communicate with a crowd and push them in the desired direction. Public speaking is not just about presenting your ideas but also convincing people that it’s worth listening to you and following up on your suggestions, further more it takes practice and commitment.  It can be used for an official purpose such as training seminars or business presentations to an unofficial purpose such as motivating employees or public speaking just for fun.

What are the benefits of Public Speaking?

Public speaking skills can help you in many ways at both personal and professional levels. It will help you overcome your fears, making it easier to travel further distances without worrying so much about being lost. If you have good communication skills then you will be able to communicate with people better which will help you in finding a job or getting somebody’s attention much more easily.

Public Speaking Skills Training

You can take up public speaking skills training either online, at the comfort of your home or even through coaching classes near your locality. There are many self learning websites that can help you develop your public speaking skills.

If one has good communication skills then it will be much easier for them to build relationships with people which will help them in resolving conflicts or disagreements, speed up the process of doing business, gaining more friends and family support, getting appreciation at work place and so on.

How to speak in public with confidence?

There are certain tips that would help you in getting over the fear of public speaking. It is fine if you feel nervous before a speech but it should not hinder your ability to make a strong impact with your words and ideas. Your message will lose its value if your presentation skills don’t match up to what the audience was expecting from you.

Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge your weakness and work on it rather than pretending that you know everything. Public speaking is not just about the way you say something but also what you have to say. Make sure that both are equally powerful before stepping up on stage.

Audience:

As part of the public speaking skills training, you need to learn about the audience. You should make a note of the gender, age group and their language ability. Once this has been done you will be able to work on how your message should be delivered in order to get the desired impact.

Developing Public Speaking Skills:

The basic building blocks of public speaking skills are being passionate about your subject and being able to deliver a clear message in an effective manner. In order to develop public speaking skills you need to have a strong command over language, be confident about yourself and have the ability to interact with different kinds of people.

Practice:

One needs to practice speaking for at least 30 minutes every day if they want to develop their public speaking skills. Practice helps you become more comfortable with the process of being on stage and delivering a speech. Once you have mastered the basics, it is important that you deliver your speech in front of a live audience at least once before stepping up on stage for a big event.

You can also go for public speaking courses or training as they would help you develop your skills in a faster and more efficient manner.

Developing Public speaking skills is not an overnight process; it takes time, effort and patience to make yourself capable of standing up and delivering a speech. With the right motivation and determination, anyone can train themselves to become an effective public speaker. You just need to have a strong will and belief in yourself, to overcome your fears.

How to prepare for a public speech:

  1. Know the material you are going to speak about. You need to be an expert on what you are going to talk about, after all it is your knowledge that they are interested in.
  2. Know your audience. You need to know what is important to them, why they are at the presentation and how you can link your information to their needs. This will help you structure the presentation better and give it more meaning for them rather than just another quick lecture at their expense.
  3. Build an outline. Have key points that you would like to hit during your presentation and then break them down into individual ideas. This will help you give a structure to the presentation as well as provide a guideline for the information that needs to be delivered.
  4. Practice, practice and practice some more!! You have probably practiced at home but now is the time to go over the presentation with a fresh pair of eyes and see what needs to be changed.
  5. Rehearse out loud, don’t just mumble it in your head, you need to actually say the words and practice the tone and speed so there aren’t any surprises when you get up on stage.
  6. Don’t write your whole presentation down. You need to be able to move around and interact with the audience, you can’t do that if you are glued to a script so keep it simple and relevant!
  7. Ask for feedback from friends and family before your big speech. See what they think on how well prepared you look and whether or not they found the material useful. This will help you make any last minute changes to the presentation as well as make you feel more confident about it.
  8. Be yourself! You need to be comfortable with what you are saying and not like a robot reading from a script, speak naturally and enjoy the entire process because that will show in your speech and how much enthusiasm you bring to what you are doing.
  9. Relax! It sounds cliche but if you can relax and feel confident about what you are saying, it will go a long way in how well the presentation itself goes.
  10. Have fun!! Yes, public speaking is scary and intimidating but remember that they only want to hear information that is useful and relevant. So you need to deliver it in a way that is comfortable for you and stick to your style instead of trying to be someone else.

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What is public speaking anxiety?

Any speaker, no matter how successful or experienced can experience a touch of public speaking anxiety before making a speech. It is only natural to be a little nervous about this upcoming event and who wouldn’t be?

You have spent time preparing the points that you want to make as well as researching your audience so that you can relate what you are saying to their needs. You have looked over your notes and practiced out loud so that you have a clear idea of what you are going to say as well as how you are going to say it.

But despite all this preparation, there is still a little bit of anxiety left because the unknown factor comes from the reactions from your audience. What if they don’t like what you say or they start snickering in the back? What if your voice cracks and everyone stares at you??

Wouldn’t it be better to just not do this whole public speaking thing??

That’s where relaxation strategies can come in handy. If you know that there action steps that work well for you, then pushing that little bit of anxiety away will be much easier.

So here are 10 strategies that might help you with your public speaking anxiety.

  1. Breathe:

– It sounds simple but breathing is one of the first things that goes when we get stressed about something, so make sure to take a few minutes before you start your speech and breathe deeply through your nose.

  1. Drink water before you go on:

– If your mouth gets dry when you are nervous, then have a drink of water just before you start speaking so that it doesn’t happen while you are talking to the audience.

  1. Do some stretches:

– again, sounds simple but standing up in front of an audience can make your muscles tighten up and you can get a little queasy in the stomach. So stretch your arms, legs and shoulders to keep yourself loose and relaxed.

  1. Visualize:

– Just before you go out there is a quick visualization technique that will help relax those muscles and calm your nerves so close your eyes and just visualize yourself walking up on stage confidently, giving your speech and getting great responses from the audience.

  1. Practice out loud:

– This is an important step to take in public speaking anxiety because it will help you get past that voice shaking or cracking in your throat stage by doing it out loud. And don’t just practice the introduction, go through all of it so that you are comfortable with what you say and how you say it.

  1. Watch videos of yourself:

– It sounds a little odd but watching a video of yourself can be a good way to see your body language and facial expressions from the audience’s point of view plus, if you seem too monotone, then you will know to put some enthusiastic inflections in your voice.

  1. Stay away from caffeine:

– If you have a tendency to get a little jittery, then drinking a caffeinated beverage just before going on stage is going to rev you up and you will be nervous instead of calm.

  1. Leave your notes behind:

– if the goal is to appear confident, then having all those notes in your hand is going to make you look nervous and unsure about what you are saying. Plus, it will just plain slow you down when you need to be speaking engagingly and smoothly.

  1. Practice in front of a mirror:

– This is another way that you can see yourself from the audience’s point of view and check out how your facial expressions look. If you catch yourself looking like you are bored or annoyed then that is when you will know to make some changes.

  1. Don’t go in blind:

– It can be very helpful to have someone with you who can give you feedback on how your presentation went afterwards. They might see things that worked really well for the audience or things that you might want to avoid next time.

I hope these strategies will help with your public speaking anxiety and keep you from avoiding the opportunities that come with sharing an experience or opinion!

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