If the thought of delivering a speech to a group of people makes you nervous, note that you’re not alone. Studies reveal that public speaking phobia is common, with approximately 74 per cent of individuals suffering from speech anxiety.
Fortunately, with the proper strategies and practices, you can fight your fears to become a great public speaker. Here are quick tips to improve your public speaking skills.
Talk to Your Audience, Not to Yourself
The first and most crucial step in delivering a public speech or presentation is to know your audience. This will help you tailor your speech to suit the listeners. You may also want to deliver your speech in a good way so that your audience understands it.
Avoid speaking too quickly or slowly; instead, maintain the speed of a normal conversation. Pause regularly and articulate your words so your audience receives the intended message.
Record Yourself and Listen Back
Record your speeches on camera and watch them back yourself. This will help you recognise how you relate to an audience and enable you to examine your body language, your pacing, and vocal sounds. You may even notice that you say or do things you didn’t realise. Recording yourself and listening back allows you to correct these things before delivering your speech to a live audience.
Get Feedback on How You Sound
Asking for feedback is one of the most effective tips for public speaking. Ask a trusted friend or family member to watch your presentation and give you honest feedback. Request them to identify what you perform well and what needs improvement. Once you establish your strengths and weaknesses, you can then work towards refining your speech presentation skills.
Practice Voice and Breath Control
If you’re nervous, it’s easy to lose your voice and breath control and start to speak faster than you normally would. Thus, take some time before delivering your speech to take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. This can allow you to enter the stage with a certain degree of peace and maintain a steady pace while presenting.
Before giving a presentation, prepare notes containing important details you want your audience to understand or feel. If you fear public speaking, you might be tempted to write the entire speech so you can check it whenever you forget your next line.
However, this isn’t an effective approach and can make you lose your audience. So instead of writing your speech out word for word, keep your notes to a minimum and even make it bullet-pointed if possible.
Take a Speech & Confidence Training Course with Pronunciation School
Taking a public speaking class can help you gain critical skills to improve your ability to speak in front of an audience. Even if you’re suffering from social anxiety or other public speaking disorder, it’s possible to combat your fear of public speaking and enhance your communication skills.
Enrol in a Speech & Confidence Training Class with us today if you desire to improve your public speaking skills and boost your confidence in public speaking.