Conduct a survey in your neighborhood and ask for some common phobias of people living in there. Surprisingly, speaking in public would, undoubtedly, be one of the top phobias of the public in general. This isn't any hypothetical situation. And if you don't believe us, try asking your friends and family members whether or not speaking in public gives them jitters and their answers are sure to clear the cloud of doubt. For most, the moment they enter the stage, their legs and arms start shaking, their throats get choked and there is a perpetual flow of sweat that just doesn't seem to dry up. The fear of public speaking is no disease, but just lack of self confidence and practice. Having said this, there is another league of people who just don't seem to get frightened by any number of people and are as cool about speaking in public as it is speaking with the best buddies. Wondering what is it in them that make public speaking an ordinary task? Well, before you jump onto any conclusion, get this straight that no person is born with public skills. Each of us has the ability to develop our public skills, but we simply chose to give in to our fears. This is what differentiates us from great public speakers. However, with little training, self confidence and determination, any person can turn into a dynamic public speaker. Here are some public skills that a person needs to develop to become a great speaker.
Public Speaking Skills
Research The Topic
Think of any dynamic speaker from the present and past and think what differentiates him/her from an average speaker? Definitely, it would be his/her knowledge or proficiency of the subject. Without having a thorough knowledge of the subject, you cannot be a well-versed speaker and for the same, research of the topic is quintessential.
Know Your Audience
Delving into and exploring just the topic is not where it all ends. The next step is to know the audience for whom the speech would be catered to. Consider the needs of your audience and match your contents accordingly. Put the content in a logical sequence. Make sure that your speech is written such that it has the ability to captivate your audience and should be worth giving time and attention. You should be aware of your strong and weak points and should emphasize on your strong points during your presentation.
Dramatize Your Speech
When you are preparing for a speech in public, it is advisable to dramatize your speech like an actor. However, do not overdo it lest the speech loses out on its credibility and authenticity. While speaking, stress on the main pointers. This would add drama and character to your speech. Vary or modulate the tone of your voice so that you can emphasize on important information.
Remember, communication is 30 percent verbal and 70 percent body language. Instead of standing still with eyes meeting nothing but the paper in which the speech is written, look into the eyes of the audience and present an interactive speech. Also, it would be great if you move about rather than stand still at one particular place and say the speech. Hand gestures and facial expression need to be in sync with the message to be conveyed.
Speak With Conviction
Whatever you speak would hold no weight if you are not 100 percent convinced yourself. As such, it is very important that you believe in your speech and speak with conviction. Only then would the audience also believe in what you are saying and embrace the opinion with an open mind. Believe in every word of your speech and hold it sacred for yourself. Automatically, the speech would attract all ears and make you seem like a professional speaker.
Maintain Eye Contact
Try to maintain sincere eye contact with your audience. You can use the 3-second method which suggests looking straight into the eyes of a person in the audience for 3 seconds at a time. Having direct eye contact with a number of people in the audience will help you in connecting with audience.
Make the Communication Interactive
Nobody likes one sided, banal speeches. Speak to your audience, invite them to questions and respond to their reactions. People tend to forget most of what you have said if you are the only one who is speaking but if you make the communication process interactive, they will retain the content for longer time. Interactive communication also helps in better understanding of the content.
Not just the alphabets and words, blank spaces, along with special characters, too hold an important place in the speech. Ignoring the same can negate the effect that the speech can cause, and worse change the meaning of the sentence completely. Pause at the right place can add meaning to the sentence and make the speech all the more interesting and comprehensive. While speaking, use suitable pauses in between your speech as it will facilitate you and your audience to have a little time to reflect and think. Also, avoid rushing through your presentation, as it will leave your audience gasping for air.
No one can deny the urge to take a quick nap when it comes to listening to a boring speech. Just as confidence and preparedness is the key for successful public speaking, similarly humor is the key for making the speech interesting and appealing. A speech without humor is a dish without salt. However, this does not mean you put excess of it. Humor when imbibed at strategic points of the speech can make the same exciting to the listener.
Practice Before You Speak
Remember public speaking is all about practice. You should rehearse the speech or presentation you are going to say in public. Speak aloud to have a better grasp on the material of the speech. Rehearsing will reduce your fear and will help you in practicing the timing. Also, you would get a better hold of the subject and become proficient in public speaking.
Remember anyone can be a good public speaker with right effort and practice. Hope these public speaking skills will help you!