How To Improve Public Speaking
Updated: Mar 15
How does one form connections, encourage change, impact decisions, and inspire people?
Through the power of public speaking and communication.
Public speaking skills are useful in every area of life, from personal to professional. From being able to discuss your ideas with your friends, to address important information at a company-wide meeting, effective communication proves to be a crucial skill in our lives.
Public speaking is a vital skill to have and hone. We utilize these skills when we speak to coworkers, bosses, employees, clients, and maybe even big audiences. Having the ability to deliver your message confidently and effectively can have an enormous impact on your career path and your success in your industry. Part 1 of this article discussed the importance and the skills required (You can read that post here ).
So now, we can begin discussing how you can improve the essential skill of public speaking. Whether you’re interested in learning how to master persuasive speaking, informative speaking or entertaining speaking, I have many tips and tricks that I’ve discovered in my own speaking journey. Here are the important few.
Pick A Topic You’re Passionate About and An Expert In
What is your message? What are you hoping to inspire people with?
When you are public speaking, always speak about the topic you have expert knowledge on, have studied, have a strong interest in, and have personal experience with. You should be an expert in your field, a thought leader.
You will notice that the audience will always be engaged if you speak with passion and knowledge.
Speaking about something you are confident in and knowledgeable about will also help prevent public speaking anxiety, as you know you’re already the expert in the room when it comes to what you’re talking about!
Know Your Audience and What They Want to Achieve
Even if you know the topic like the back of your hand, you also want to make sure you’re tailoring your speech to resonate with your audience. The more you understand your audience and what they are hoping to achieve from your speech, the more you can cater the speech to resonate with them. The more they benefit from what you say, the more you can inspire them.
Remember, they are there for a particular reason — so make sure you speak directly to them and use your words to relate to them. Let’s say you’re speaking about digital marketing at a sales convention. A great speaker will ensure that the speech they deliver refers to digital marketing strategies most beneficial to online sales. The salespeople should come out of your speech with new information and tools they can use to generate more sales online.
As every great public speaker will tell you, confidence is key. Your level of confidence can determine how impactful your speech will be. Don’t overthink and get too in your head — think positively and stand up straight. Be confident in your knowledge, abilities, and speaking skills. Your confidence can get you very far.
Take Public Speaking Courses
Taking a public speaking course may sound like a beginner’s move, but I am here to tell you that even the most accomplished public speakers take courses and have public speaking coaches, regardless of their skills. Remember – you should never stop learning.
You may believe that some people are just born with the ability to be an incredible public speaker. But those people will tell you that public speaking is a skill that can be learned and improved. Finding a great teacher can be a pivotal moment in your public speaking career.
In public speaking, there is always something new to learn. Just like in most areas of life, public speaking has trends. One type of speech delivery may be more effective in one time period than it was in the previous. That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date with the trends and refer to people that can help.
Taking a public speaking course can give you all the necessary tools to help you develop your speaking skills. It will also give you a structure to follow when learning how to use these tools.
Practicing allows you not only to perfect your delivery but also to prepare for any scenario that may arise. For example, your microphone goes out and the audience can no longer hear you. It’s a minute before someone can fix the sound. Although a nerve-wracking moment, it’s something you have practiced for.
You take a deep breath, have a sip of water, and once the sound is fixed, you crack a joke – that you practiced in case a moment like that arose – and you continue with your speech.
A great speaker never stops practicing. There is always something to work on, and perfect.
While it’s incredibly useful to practice the meat of your speech, it’s also very necessary to perfect the start and end of your speech.
When starting a speech, you have the audience’s full attention. If you can create a good impression right off the bat, you will keep your audience engaged and focused throughout. Practicing effective ways to start your speech will help you start off strong and remain confident throughout.
The same rule applies to the end of the speech. It’s important to practice how you plan to end your speech with a bang. The end of your speech should strongly tie the points you may have throughout the speech together, so they leave a lasting impression in your audience’s minds. The closing statement should be powerful and stirring, as those are the words your audience leaves with. Practicing those words, their tone, and their delivery, can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your speech.
About Brian Tracy - Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success, and personal development, including worldwide bestseller, The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.