Ways to improve your public speaking skills
Everyone, at least once in their lifetime, has given a speech in public. It might have gone successfully or it might have been ineffectual. Either way, here are few tips for improving your public speaking skills. First, calm yourself down, take a few deep breaths. Being nervous is alright, it’s a common human behavior, but make sure this won’t affect your thinking. Most speakers go on stage with anxiety, telling them they won’t do good. This way of thinking usually leads to them messing up, so always think positive, go on stage thinking that you’re going to be amazing. This way, your speeches always end up being effective.
Practice well. Only preparing yourself beforehand makes you feel comfortable with the script. Organizing the work in such a way that it will help you remember the speech clearly and attract the audience within the first few minutes. Try avoiding looking at your paper while speaking and instead as though you are talking to someone close to you. If you may have difficulties in which topic comes after then, before going on stage, make a quick note of your elocution subheadings so when you don’t recall something, you can take a swift look at the note, and will be good.
The most important thing about giving a speech is that you have the attention of your audience. Most people lose connection with the speaker after a while, so make sure you develop a script where the audience is more engaged. We can add humor, and our point of view in the speech for it to be entertaining, but we have to make sure we don’t get sidetracked and the main focus is still on the topic we are talking about. Using hand gestures is also proven to be effective while giving speeches. Use your voice and hands in a way that the audience gets your point, but also try avoiding too many motions, as it may distract the listeners from the main focus.
Make eye contact with certain people in the audience. When making eye contact with someone, it’s proven that they are more likely to pay attention throughout the speech. Ask questions when needed, this will make the audience wonder and be part of the conversation. And while writing the script, we should make sure we keep in mind that this speech is about everyone and not only us.
And lastly, be yourself. Most of the time we go on stage and block our whole personality, but by being ourselves we can connect to the audience and the topic much more. So the next time you try out for public speaking, be yourself and enjoy yourself out there, take the compliments and the feedback and see where you can improve.
By, Aditi Rao, Grade 8A, CMRNPS