15 Best Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

15 Best Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
You can improve your public speaking skills
by applying certain ideas.

15 Best Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

This post provides exhaustive information on how to improve your public speaking skills so you can take your business to a higher level.

Please, read on:

Improving in what you do is the best way to keep gaining higher altitudes in whatever field of life you find yourself.

In a competitive world as ours, the only way to stay in the game is to improve on what you already know how to do and getting more knowledge about new methodologies.

Public speaking is not exempted in this case. In fact, public speaking is one field that requires daily improvement.

There is no era of human race where you have more people with willingness to be heard than this era, but only few really get to the top of the game.

This can be attributed to how much improvement one makes in his/her public speaking skills.

15 Best Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

To improve your public speaking skills, here are best ideas to apply:

  1. Practice
  2. Know your audience well enough
  3. Organize yourself and your working materials
  4. Work with the feedback you get
  5. Be yourself
  6. Tell stories and add humor to your speech
  7. Maintain eye contact
  8. Work on your start and perfect your ending
  9. Use audiovisual aids
  10. Relate with the environment
  11. Work on your appearance
  12. Smile all the way
  13. Allow participation of the audience
  14. Work on your body language
  15. Don’t fear failure.
  1. Practice

As long as public speaking is concerned, you cannot do without regular practice. Regular practice is to a public speaker what regular training is to an athlete.

Regular practice is a life hack of every public speaker. It should not be a choice but rather a must.

As you keep practicing, you keep being better than you were before. This is one of the reasons why you cannot afford to stop practicing.

If you want to get better, you have to improve and for you to improve, you need to practice harder.

One thing is sure, in the field of public speaking there are people well ahead of you and one of the things that probably made them stay ahead of you may not necessarily be talent but practice.

Hard work will always beat talent any day anytime.

  1. Know your audience well enough

This is another important thing you must learn to do. You are there for your audience and they are there for you so intimating yourself with the right knowledge about your audience is sure to be a good way to improve in your public speaking career.

Knowing your audience does not necessarily entail having close contact with them though that may not be a bad idea. What it means is finding a way to know how best they learn.

This will give you a hint on how best to address your audience.

Also, knowing the component of the audience could be helpful.

Age and cultural background could play a key role in the way people reason and understand certain things.

So try to know the age bracket and cultural background of your audience before you stand to address them.

  1. Organize yourself and your working materials

This is for your own benefit. You don’t expect to do well in the world of public speaking if you are not adept at organization.

Organization is not only for people in offices. Whatever you do, you need to be organized so that you don’t generate unnecessary difficulties for yourself.

The first thing you must organize is yourself and that is the most important aspect of organization.

Someone once said, “If you want to solve the problem of the world, start with arranging your bed”.

It is only an organized person that remembers to make their bed before leaving the house and that is a sign of self-organization.

The next to organize is your work materials.

This could include your notes and other working materials such as projectors etc.

Before you embark on any public events, ensure that your working materials are intact and are in top condition.

  1. Work with the feedback you get

For each presentation you carry out, wait for feedback. This should be of great importance to you if you desire to improve your public speaking skills.

Don’t assume you have done perfectly well until you get feedback from more than one person.

In whatever sphere of life, criticism is one thing you cannot run away from.

It can bring you down or help you become better depending on your attitude and mentality whenever you get criticisms.

Some people don’t have the balls to digest criticisms and that is why they are not improving.

For you to deal with feedbacks and criticisms, you will need to be open-minded.

To be open-minded entails giving room for feedbacks and criticisms regardless of how they come.

It is not always possible to determine how the feedbacks will come but you can do better in handling them when they come.

  1. Be yourself

We live in a highly competitive world that many sometimes put more of their attention to what they think they should be rather than who they are.
Sometimes people tend to mistaken loss of identity for improvement. The two are different in their functions.

Don’t try to be like someone else no matter how you admire them in their job, rather work on becoming better than you are currently.

This is what we mean by being yourself. You have to do what works for you and do it well.

Also, being yourself could mean focusing more on your strengths rather than another person’s strength.

Be original in what you do and be the signature to what you do. You can be the best but not by copying another person.

  1. Tell stories and add humor to your speech

One of the good things you can learn from people ahead of you in this job is that they love telling stories and can be humorous in their public presentations.

Telling stories and cracking light jokes could be helpful in any given public speaking event.

Stories serve the purpose of driving home some points which may take a longer explanation to do same.

Stories can help you drive home about 50% of your points. This means that stories are more understandable and practical than some explanations.

Also, you need to have a way of making the audience laugh if necessary. This does not make you a comedian, but in between your presentation, try to relax the nerves and minds of the audience through light jokes.

Note that the jokes should not make a mockery of anyone in the audience. It could be counterproductive.

  1. Maintain eye contact

This is one of the things you have to sort out during your practice whether with friends or in front of your mirror.

Communication makes more sense when you keep constant eye contact with the person or people you are addressing.

While addressing people, one of the ways to convince them that you are confident in yourself is to maintain eye contact with them.

Don’t allow your eyes to keep moving aimlessly. Fasten your eyes on the audience and ensure they do the same.

Your eyes should always be fixed on the faces and particularly the eyes of your audience.

Through their eyes you could tell how they are feeling about the presentation if they are following or not.

This will help you know what next to do.

  1. Work on your start and perfect your ending

The beginning of your presentation and the ending are very important to your audience.

You have to ensure that you have a great beginning and a better ending.

This will make the presentation a successful one. This is for sure what you should work on.

Telling a story or asking a question could be a wonderful way of starting your presentation.

Also, you can look at what statistics has to say about certain subject matters.

For example, when discussing a topic like cancer, you may need to start up with an experience you had with a cancer patient and the statistics that shows how devastating cancer can be.

When you do this, the audience will develop a good interest in the topic and this will make them pay good attention to what you have to say.

For your ending, it is important that you end your presentation with conclusion and possibly an action plan on what is similar to an assignment. This will give you a well-rounded presentation.

  1. Use audiovisual aids

This is important too. The use of audiovisual aids will enhance your effectiveness when handling a public speaking event.

As the title says, it is an aid. You will need them to drive home some points when the need arises.

One of those audiovisual aids could come in the form of PowerPoint slides and real videos.

Graphics and graphs could do a wonderful job for a public speaker who knows their importance.

Hardly do you go to events these days without seeing audiovisuals playing a key role in the event.

There are some explanations that are better understood with PowerPoint slides and graphics.

Some statistics are better explained with the use of graphs (bar chart, multiple bar chart, component bar charts etc.).

So, you just need to use them when and where necessary.

  1. Relate with the environment

Most of the points above certainly depend on this particular point we will be considering below.

The type of environment (place of presentation) you find yourself will determine the approach you will take in your presentation.

So, studying the environment should be one of the things you should do when you get invitation to speak in an event. This will help you know how to arrange your work in order to achieve a good result.

So, take your time and study the environment.

Check if the environment is noisy, windy or any other factor to consider.

When you know the condition of the place you are to speak, then go back home and do your math on how best to achieve your goals in cognizance to the environment.

  1. Work on your appearance

Your appearance says a lot about you when you come before people to do your presentation.

First impression they say matters and one of the first impression you make on people is with your appearance. You have to look good always.

If you don’t dress well, you will be undermining or sabotaging your own effort.

You might want to know how. The answer is simple, when you don’t dress well your audience will assume that is the way your presentation will be.

So, to make a good impression on them, you have to look good in your outfit depending on the event.

If the event warrants you to wear corporate, do so.

If it permits you to wear any other thing besides corporate, do so with all sense of decency and neatness.

Also, don’t forget to smell nice and ensure you don’t look haggard in regards to your haircut/hairdo and beards in the case of men.

  1. Smile all the way

Smiling can bring relieve to you and your audience. Your smile is a sign of friendliness.

Your audience should be treated with a good smile always as long as the presentation lasts.

A lovely smile could be reassuring and is a sign of a confident speaker.

Frowning or looking dull in your facial appearance could be repulsive to the audience.

It could throw them into the dilemma of trying to know what is wrong with you instead of focusing on what you are saying.

This alone is an unnecessary distraction to the audience.

One good scenario where you need to learn how to smile is when questions or contrary opinions are thrown at you by the audience.

This is vital in your presentation. When you get questions and contrary opinions, smile and go ahead and explain yourself.

There is no reason for you to frown.

  1. Allow participation of the audience

There are some public speaking events where you are expected to allow participation.

In such events, channel your energy into making sure the audience participates in the whole process.

The presentation is not all about you.

There are two probable ways you can allow participation from the audience: through questions and through contributions.

In your presentation, make room for questions. It is not ideal for you to do all the talking all the way without giving room for the audience to ask their questions.

Also, you have to allow the audience to make contributions. This is possible through you asking the audience some questions or making room for them to share their experiences about the subject matter.

This will make the presentation an exciting one. People want to be heard, have this at the back of your mind.

  1. Work on your body language

Your body language is like your personal interpreter. Your body language could either be reassuring or undermining depending on you the presenter.
It is what makes your presentation meaningful and interesting if you work on it.

When you appear before an audience to speak, ensure that your body language does not say something different from what your mouth is saying.

This is because, what convinces people to buy into your idea is your body language.

It is your show of confidence or your show of lack of confidence. If you want to convince the audience to buy into your ideas, then your body language must be reassuring and exude a lot of confidence.

Let your body participate in the whole process.

  1. Don’t fear failure

At the start of your career in the field of public speaking, one of the things you might have battled with is the fear of failure.

Fear of not performing up to expectation.

It is normal to most upcoming public speakers. The fear is real and not to be misunderstood.

Despite this fact, one thing that you shouldn’t do is to allow the fear of failure make you lose your focus.

You don’t succeed with fear; neither do you improve with fear. You have to kick out that fear in you or you will fail.

You might mess up at some point during a presentation but don’t let your confidence take a hit because of that.

If your confidence drops then you are bound to make more mistakes or even blunders.

So, remove that fear from your mind and do more practice.

Conclusion

No matter what you do or the heights you have attained in public speaking, you still need to improve.

The world is changing and this affects the way things are done in every field of life.

So, you need to keep up to date with the latest demands and flow in that direction.

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