Public speaking is one of the essential requirements for many occupations. Applicants with strong public speaking skills are in demand and more appealing than the candidates who do not possess this quality. Dynamic public speaking is essential to lead meetings, which is a vital responsibility for a workplace. While introducing a new project, staff are asked to give presentations. In a situation like this, presenting yourself as a great public speaker will allow you to prove your leadership potential. You may need to present at conferences or training programs. Your position may require you to make sales or marketing pitches to a large group. Delivering pitches confidently and competently will be critical in closing deals and will present you as a valuable employee.
This article focuses on improving your public speaking ability and demonstrating this ability in a professional environment.
Be Confident and overcome stage fright
Confidence is perhaps the essential skill for a public speaker. Boost your confidence with positive affirmations. Self-confidence is key to delivering the information you want to share with your colleagues and employer effectively.
Take a few deep breaths to calm your fear. Some nerves are good. Don’t let your nervousness ruin your performance. Don’t be afraid to fail. Remember that you can always learn from your mistakes.
Focus on your body language
Use effective body language to get your points across. Make sure you are standing up straight and relaxed during your presentation. A simple smile will help you connect with the audience. Gesture with your hands to make a point and match your facial expression to your speaking tone.
Connect with the audience
Maintain eye contact with the audience throughout your speech. This will make the group engage with your presentation. Ask them questions, encourage them to respond and participate. Grab their attention by using humor and by sharing fun facts or any exciting statistics. This will make them feel involved in your speech. Knowing the audience will help to craft your speech and determine what information you should share.
Work on your delivery
In public speaking, delivery is everything. Talking too fast or too slow will make it hard for the audience to follow your message. Talk at a conversational pace and enunciate clearly to avoid the risk of losing the interest of your audience. Your voice is the essential tool you will use as a public speaker. Use the correct tone of your voice.
If you use filler words, such as “um,” “like,” and “ah,” when delivering a presentation, the audience may get distracted. Don’t forget to pause at the right time. A well-placed pause between deliveries gives the audience time to digest your presentation.
Summarize and organize your presentation
Create a framework for your speech. Write down key points, general points, and a summary. If you decide to use PowerPoint slides, then create aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-understand slides. Also, make sure you have a clear understanding of how PowerPoint works. Keep track of what you want to include in your speech by summarizing.
There is a reason behind the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” You cannot achieve the ability of public speaking overnight. So try to practice in front of a mirror. Try volunteering to speak at team meetings, present at meetups. Rehearse and revise essential points of your speech beforehand. Be perfectly prepared before presenting a speech. Practice is vital to gain experience and overcome stage fright.
When you rehearse, don’t forget to record yourself. You find out flaws that need to be corrected by watching your videos. Pay attention to your every movement and decide whether something needs to be improved or not.
Ask for feedbacks
If you want, you can consult an expert on public speaking and ask for their constructive criticism. You can ask your family members, friends, or colleagues after presenting a speech for their feedback. Encourage them to critique your performance. Review feedback and modify your approach according to them.
Turn to TED Talks
You can follow TED Talk presenters. Many of them are masters at public speaking. Try to watch their performance. Note down their way of storytelling, their body language. Your purpose is not to copy them but to polish your way of giving a public speech.
Let your personality shine through while you are presenting your speech. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t give up, and don’t forget to put in time and effort. Focus on the areas you need to improve because perseverance and practice will be critical in this journey. Appreciate and acknowledge the improvements you make. Face your fear with confidence.