Do you want to know how to improve your public speaking skills?
If you do, then come along with us.
As a businessperson, there will come a time when you will need to speak publicly.
If you do not possess strong public speaking skills, then you will not deliver effectively.
This can affect people’s belief in your credibility.
So, to avoid this, you need to build and improve your public speaking skills.
We have prepared some great tips that will enable you to improve your public speaking skills.
However, before we get to that, we will be looking at some other information related to this topic.
They will give you a better and clearer idea of how to improve your skills.
To begin, let’s take a look at what public speaking is.
What Is Public Speaking? – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Public speaking as the term implies is the act of speaking to an audience, crowd, or group of people.
It is when you speak in public in front of people.
These days, public speaking is no longer limited to a face-to-face audience.
You can speak publicly on video calls and social media platforms.
Public speaking is also called oration or oratory.
It can cover a wide range of different topics.
Hence, public speaking topics are not limited.
As we earlier said, you will be called upon or required to give a public speech during your business career.
It might not be an event or social gathering.
Rather, it could be something as regular as speaking to your employees or speaking to investors.
Whatever it might be, you will still need to know how to speak publicly to ensure that you get your desired results.
For you to do this, you will need to possess strong public speaking skills.
Essential Public Speaking Skills – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
To effectively speak publicly you need strong public speaking skills.
So, let’s quickly look at some public speaking skills
As a speaker, you need to speak and articulate well for others to understand you.
Speaking well includes proper enunciation, speaking audibly, making use of proper grammar, and avoiding the use of filler sounds and words.
It also involves avoiding repeating yourself and stumbling over the words you speak.
You might speak well in a normal conversation, but with public speaking, you need to add more flair.
Hence, you would be required to prepare and practice.
Engaging/ Captivating Presentation Style – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
When you speak publicly, you are automatically making a presentation, and presentations are dry and boring without the necessary flares.
In other words, you need to possess engaging or captivating presentation styles.
This includes body language, vocal tone, timing, and facial expression.
Making use of these styles properly will make your speech more engaging and exciting.
Knowing Your Audience’s Needs
This is a necessary skill for effective public speaking.
The reason for this is that not all audience wants or needs the same thing.
Some audiences will need technical details, while others might not.
You could also encounter those who will appreciate a certain type of joke and others who will not.
So, for you to effectively deliver your message to them, you have to know your audience and their needs.
This will help you prepare your speech to suit them.
PowerPoint Skills – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Not all speech and speakers make use of PowerPoint.
However, it is something you need to know how to use to be a good public speaker.
PowerPoint is used to create slides.
During a presentation or public speech using a slide can come in very useful.
It allows your audience to better understand your message.
People appreciate slide shows during speeches and presentations.
So, you need to possess these skills.
PowerPoint skills include the technical understanding and usage of the software and the skill to create aesthetically understandable and pleasing slides.
Sometimes you might not have planned to speak.
You can be called up at any time to speak.
So, you have to be prepared at all times.
You need to be capable of constructing your words to be coherent, rational, and understandable.
Furthermore, you need to know how to cover all your points.
Storytelling skills and humor can help you do this if you can use them well.
Importance of Strong Public Speaking Skills – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Strong public speaking skills come in handy in business and career-building.
They are not only important for effective public speaking but also for:
Improving Critical Thinking
Possessing strong public speaking skills can help improve your critical thinking skills.
This is because when preparing for a speech you need to know your audience and their needs and tailor your message to suit them.
It takes careful thought to achieve this.
You would need to think about how to make all your points relatable, understandable, and relevant for your audience.
There will be several things you will have to think about.
When you do this, you will have to think critically.
Hence, as you do this often, your critical thinking skills get a boost.
Building Confidence – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Public speaking skills and the act itself can help build up your confidence.
This is because possessing strong public speaking skills will help you to overcome any fear of speaking publicly.
When you speak publicly often and do it well, your confidence in yourself and your abilities will increase.
Furthermore, when you can effectively connect with your audience, it makes you feel and believe that you possess something valuable to offer the world.
When you get a confidence boost, you will not be scared to mount any podium, speak in any gathering or meeting, or hold regular conversations.
With strong public speaking skills and practice, you will be able to morph your weaknesses into strengths.
Check here to discover 8 ways to boost your confidence.
Improving Communication Skills
Your communication skills also get a boost due to strong public speaking skills.
This is because when you speak you communicate.
If your communication skills are poor, you will not deliver your speech well.
Hence, strong public speaking skills will enable you to prepare your speech and have clear articulation.
They will ensure that you think about how you would frame your speech, speak your words, and communicate with your body language.
All of which will help to make you a better communicator.
Improving Persuasion Skills – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
With strong public speaking skills, you will find it easier to persuade people.
This is because you will plan and deliver your speech in ways that will please your audience.
You will make use of storytelling skills to capture your audience and get them to believe that you are right about what you are saying.
Public speaking skills does not only make you a better communicator but also a better networker.
As a result, you will find it easier to build both social and professional connections.
When you are invited to speak at a gathering or event, you will find it easier to mingle with people before and after the event or your speech.
You can even start building relationships while giving your speech.
Some of the people you build relationships with can become good friends, or good business partners or contacts.
So, we can say that public speaking skills can help to expand personal and professional networks.
Building Leadership Skills – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
When you possess strong public speaking skills you will not be scared of speaking in front of a large gathering of people.
You will believe that you are capable of speaking and making an impact on people.
Hence, when you need to motivate or win people over, you will do so freely and confidently.
In other words, you will be better at persuading and motivating people.
Hence, you will automatically be making use of these essential components of leadership while building them.
Personal Development and Satisfaction
Public speaking skills can help you overcome fear, build your confidence, and improve your communication skills.
Regardless of where you find yourself, you will feel sure about yourself instead of feeling less.
This will make you satisfied and happier with yourself.
Building Your Business/Career – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Strong public speaking skills help to improve your critical thinking, communication skills, leadership skills, and professionalism.
All these skills will then work to make you better at your job and business.
You will find it easier to make the business deal, motivate your employees, persuade your customer and clients, and so on.
In other words, they will fuel you with the needed skills and talent to build your business and career.
Tips on How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Most of the following tips are practical, so for you to get the desired result, you will need to practice them often
1. Know Your Audience
Whether unplanned or planned speech, one thing that assures smooth speech deliveries is a good knowledge of who your audience is.
In other words, “thou shall know thy audience”.
Your audience is a crucial aspect of every speech.
If you do not know them and understand their needs, you most likely will end up not getting your desired result.
So, before going to deliver a speech, know the group of people you are going to be speaking to, then plan and tailor your speech to suit them.
You might experience some difficulties doing this for an unplanned or impromptu speech.
However, it is still possible to figure out your audience.
All you need to do is to observe them and listen to the other speakers before you.
This will give you an idea of how to deliver your speech to them.
Furthermore, knowing the event and the people expected to be there will provide you with an insight into the general attendants.
Hence, you can work with that to prepare and deliver your speech.
2. Work on Your Voice Control – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
You can either bore your audience during your speech delivery or keep them engaged from start to finish with your voice.
Your voice happens to be an essential communication tool when speaking publicly.
Hence, you need to make use of it well.
One thing you ought to do is to control your voice.
Practicing diaphragmatic breathing can make your voice richer, have clarity, and ensure that you do not experience breath shortness.
It will also calm and release tension.
If you make it a habit of practicing diaphragmatic breathing exercise your volume, tone, and pitch will become better when you speak.
This will help to capture your audience’s attention better.
3. Make Use of The Proper Body Language
When speaking publicly, your body language is expected to provide support to the words you say.
In other words, your body language has to match what you are saying.
For instance, your movement around your provided space should match your presentation or speech flow.
When speaking publicly you should do the following:
- Keep and maintain an upright and relaxed posture
- Avoid rocking or swaying
- Gesticulate with your hands and arms as you describe details and make points.
- Do not turn your back on your audience
- Match all your facial expressions and tone with your words
- Make and maintain eye contact with your audience
4. Eliminate Fillers – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Filler words or sound such as “ah” or “um” does not help for good public speaking.
Rather, they distract you and your audience from the message.
So, you should eliminate them from your speech.
If you know you cannot remember all your points, then you should have an outline that directs your speech.
This way, you will not stumble while speaking.
5. Learn to Pause
Understand that public speaking is more than just speaking, it is a presentation.
You need to be able to hold the attention of your listeners.
In other words, you need to learn to create suspense.
The best way to do this is by learning to pause.
Yes, while speaking, take pause.
Do not rush your words and points.
Give yourself time to breathe, give your audience time to absorb your point or words, and make them guess what you want to say next.
However, you should not do this every time.
The most effective way to use a pause is by asking a question or explaining a captivating point.
For example, you can take a short pause after asking “If you could make a change, would you?”
When you do this, you give your audience some seconds to reason your words.
6. Practice and Record – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
There is a saying “practice makes perfect”
This saying is true.
When you make it a habit of repeating and practicing a thing, you will become more proficient at it.
The same can be said for public speaking.
In other words, to improve your public speaking skills make it a habit to practice often.
You do not need to have a speaking engagement planned before you can practice.
When you have free time, stay where you will not be disturbed and practice speaking.
You can do that in front of a mirror to observe your body movement or record yourself while practicing.
If you want to improve better, then recording will work best.
This way, you will practice or rehearse freely, and then watch the record later.
As you watch the record, ensure that pay attention to your body movement, your word choice and flow, your tone, and other things.
This will help you to notice where you need improvements, and then do better.
7. Make Use of Humor/Stories/Effective Language
You need to connect with your audience for them to understand your message.
The best way to connect with them is through stories and humor.
Be a storyteller and a joker.
However, while doing this you need to ensure that you avoid making sensitive jokes.
Some audiences will appreciate a certain type of joke and others will not.
So, ensure that your language or word choice, and jokes are what your audience will understand and appreciate.
8. Be Yourself – How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Some speakers tend to forget that they are as important as their audience and the message they share.
People are not only interested in your message but also in you.
You bring the message to life.
The way you deliver the message is the way your audience will receive it.
People will lose interest in your speech if it is robotic and without a hint of a speaker’s personality.
So, add life and flair to your message by being you.
You can add personal stories and make use of your unique speaking style.
This way, the speech will flow freely and your audience will be captivated by you and your message.
9. Read/Get Coached
You might not be able to make all the necessary improvements on your own.
However, getting coached and gathering information on public speaking will help you do that.
So, read books, and articles, and listen to podcasts about public speaking.
New and exciting trends are being discovered almost every day.
Hence, attend classes or get someone to teach you about them.
This way, you will keep improving your public speaking skills.
Conclusion on How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Public speaking skills are useful for you as a business person.
They will help you to conduct business better, develop personally, and grow your network and professional reputation.
Therefore, if your presentation skills are poor, you should work to improve them.
You can do this by getting to know your audience, working on your voice control, eliminating filters, and making use of proper body language.
Also, you should make it a habit of practicing public speaking, be yourself, and get help from a coach or read a book on public speaking.
Finally, don’t forget to make use of humor and storytelling to capture your audience attention.