9 Steps To Improve Your Public Speaking SuccessMarch 30, 2023 2023-03-30 16:16
<strong>9 Steps To Improve Your Public Speaking Success</strong>
9 Steps To Improve Your Public Speaking Success
Public speaking is one of the most challenging activities for many people. The fear of being judged, ridiculed, or embarrassed can be too much to handle, and the idea of speaking in front of a group can seem impossible. But with a little practice and preparation, public speaking doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Many people who have a hard time speaking in public would like to improve their skills, but don’t know where to begin. To help you overcome those fears and increase your confidence, here are ten ways you can improve your public-speaking success.
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember to breathe when speaking in front of a group. Taking deep breaths will help you relax and slow your heart rate, so you don’t get too anxious. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “deep breathing slows down your heart rate and lowers blood pressure.” If you’re feeling nervous before a big presentation, try taking deep breaths to calm yourself down. In addition to deep breathing, you can also try other relaxation techniques such as visualization or progressive muscle relaxation. Also, make sure to avoid any stimulants before you speak, as this can make your anxiety worse. Make people want to listen to you by ensuring you’re calm and collected before you start talking.
- Admit Your Nervousness
Many people try to act like they’re not nervous when speaking in front of a group, but this can often backfire. Trying to act confident when you’re not feeling it can come across as fake and insincere. Instead of pretending you’re not nervous, try acknowledging your nerves and using them to your advantage. According to Forbes, “Admitting that you’re nervous can make you appear more confident and in control.” This is because when you admit you’re nervous, it shows that you’re comfortable with being vulnerable in front of others. It also shows that you understand that it’s normal to feel nervous when speaking in public and that you’re not going to let your nerves get the best of you. If you can embrace your nerves and use them to your advantage, it will go a long way in helping you be successful when speaking in public.
- Use (Minimal) Notes
When speaking in front of a group, you don’t have time to take notes or write anything down. You’ll quickly lose track of what you’ve said and what you want to say. But if you memorize key points before the presentation, it will be much easier for you to give an effective presentation without making any mistakes. Use only the minimum number of notes necessary for your topic and stick with them until your speech is over. Also, keep your notes in front of you on your podium so you can refer back to them if you need reminders. Many people make a mistake and use too many notes, and they end up forgetting what they were supposed to say.
- Become Comfortable with “The Pause”
Another important aspect of public-speaking is learning how to use pauses effectively. Pauses can be used to emphasize a point, give the audience time to process information, or take a breath. Many people fear pauses because they think they make them look nervous, but in reality, pauses are natural and necessary. If you fill every pause with filler words or sounds, it will only make you appear more nervous and flustered. Practice using pauses in your everyday conversation and when you’re giving presentations or speeches. In addition to appearing more confident, pauses will also make your audience more likely to pay attention and remember what you’re saying. Most people tend to speak faster when nervous, so pausing will also help you slow down and enunciate your words.
- Be Aware of Your Hand Gestures
Your body language is just as important as your words when you’re speaking in public. Be aware of your hand gestures and use them to emphasize your points. Avoid fidgeting or nervous movements, as these will make you look more anxious. Instead, try to keep your hands still and use them for emphasis when you make a point. You can also use your hands to gesture toward visual aids or to help the audience follow along with your presentation. If you’re unsure what type of hand gestures are appropriate, try practicing in front of a mirror or recording yourself on video. This will help you become more aware of your body language and make necessary adjustments.
- Move Around Some, But Not Too Much
Many people think they need to stay in one place when speaking in front of a group, but this is actually a mistake. Moving around a bit can help you appear more confident and engaged. It also allows you to make eye contact with different people in the audience and keep everyone’s attention. However, you don’t want to pace back and forth or move around too much, as this will make you appear nervous and fidgety. Try standing in one place and using different hand gestures and body language to emphasize your points. You can also take a few steps forward or to the side when you want to make a specific point. Ensure you don’t pace or walk around aimlessly, as this will only distract the audience and make you look nervous.
- Incorporate Visual Prompts
Visual aids can be a great way to engage your audience and make your points more memorable. If you’re giving a presentation, try to incorporate some visual aid, such as a PowerPoint presentation or charts and graphs. You can also use physical objects to help illustrate your points. For example, if you’re talking about the different types of rocks, you could bring some samples to show the audience. Visual aids will help the audience follow your presentation and remember your points afterward. Make sure you don’t rely too heavily on them, as this can make your presentation confusing and challenging to follow.
- Practice More
The more you do something, the better you will become at it. This is true for anything in life, including public-speaking. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel and the better your delivery will be. One way to practice is to give small group speeches or presentations to friends or family members. You can also join a local Toastmasters club, where you will have the opportunity to give speeches regularly and get feedback from other members. Many community colleges also offer public-speaking courses, which can be a great way to start. If you can’t take a class, many resources are available online, such as eBooks, webinars, and articles that can help you improve your skills.
- Record Yourself Speaking
Another best way to improve your public-speaking skills is to record yourself speaking and then listen back to the recording. This will allow you to hear how you sound to other people and identify areas that need improvement. When you listen to the recording, pay attention to your speech rate, volume, and clarity. Make sure you are speaking normally and not rushing through your words. You should also make sure you are speaking loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the room. Finally, check to see if you are enunciating your words clearly. If people can’t understand what you’re saying, your message isn’t getting across.
Public speaking can be a daunting task, but it’s something that everyone should know how to do. These tips will help you become a better public speaker and make an impact when you’re speaking in front of a group. Just remember to relax, be yourself, and practice as much as possible. You’ll become a confident and competent public speaker with time and practice.