You can improve your public speaking skills by reading this article about public speaking tips that you need to know.
Public speaking is a skill that many people want to master but fail to because they are not confident enough. Public speaking is considered to be one of the most common fears people have in themselves. Whenever they are told to speak, they start shivering or stuttering a lot.
Public speaking is not a talent, rather it is an acquired skill that comes with practice. You need a lot of practice in order to be confident in speaking your words with the flow.
You can improve your speaking by following some public speaking tips that are given by experts. Those experts were once shy and stuttered when speaking, but their experience gave them the confidence to speak clearly. You can follow public speaking tips and become a good public speaker.
Here is a detailed guide on public speaking tips that you would need to know:
What is public speaking?
Public speaking is the narration or oration of something in front of the audience. The audience is anyone, especially the public. Public speaking can be on various topics ranging from political to humor. It is a form of human communication in which only one person speaks and others listen attentively.
Public speaking is different from giving a presentation. In the presentation, you present certain content, while in public speaking you motivate, encourage, entertain or educate the public with your speech. To speak clearly in public, you need to know public speaking tips that can help you.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson says “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”
Types of public speaking
Public speaking has existed ever since humans existed, but it might be in a different form. Greeks are known to be the most prominent civilization that used public speaking more. They spoke to praise or persuade the public as they lived in a democratic state. They needed some skills that could help them in persuading the public.
Before knowing public speaking tips, you need to know the types of public speaking:
Informative public speaking
In informative speaking, the speaker has to explain in public about a concept or an idea that is informative. Most of the informative speaking is done in colleges and universities where students give information through public speaking.
The idea of informative speaking is not to convince anyone of a certain opinion but to simply inform them about a certain thing that they need to know about.
Ceremonial public speaking
The public speaker also has a role in ceremonies. They have to give a speech related to the ceremony to the attendees. They are mostly special events that involve close people or special people.
Ceremonies can include product launches, weddings, funerals, graduations, parties, office events, etc. They can be emotional, casual, or formal, so the public speaker has to give a speech based on the nature of the event.
Persuasive public speaking
Persuasive public speaking is a form of communication in which you have to convince the public about a certain thing. This type of speech is usually done by politicians and lawyers who have to convince the public in their favor.
Persuasive public speaking is more assertive and powerful because it involves changing the mindset of the public through words. This is the oldest form of public speaking as it was used by politicians to convince the voters.
Demonstrative public speaking
Demonstrative public speaking is used to demonstrate something and speak regarding the demonstration. This can be a science model or a project that can be performed live to the public. Mostly, scientists and researchers use this kind of public speaking to show to the interested audience about a certain phenomenon. Visual aid is an important part of demonstrative public speaking.
A demonstrative public speaker is like a guide who has to explain step-by-step details about something to the public. You have to teach the audience how to do something through your demonstration with words.
How to practice public speaking
Now that you know the types of public speaking, you can start practicing public speaking. A public speaker has to choose one type of speaking that they are good at to practice and be an ace in it.
Public speaking tips can help in practicing speeches for anyone:
Ready your speech
Public speaking does not happen without any plan. To be well organized, you need to do your research and plan your speech well. You can take help from experts or from the people who do public speaking to organize the form of speech.
Your speech must be ready so that you do not stutter or confuse when you are speaking in public. When reading your speech, you need to pick out words and content you can confidently speak on.
As Dale Carnegie says “Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.”
Do not put too much content
Many people make the mistake of adding too much in their speech. When you add too much content you get overwhelmed and burdened with speaking. You can get flustered and do paper reading because you will not be able to remember too much of it.
Your content should be to the point and up to the limited time allotted by the organizer. Direct content has more impact on the audience than too much detail on a single statement. Guy Kawasaki advises: “Simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across.”
Divide your speech
When practicing for the speech, you have to divide your speech into sections to remember well. Dividing speech is one of the best public speaking tips to remember.
You can practice the first section until it is perfect then move to the second section and so on. In this way, when you are nervous or feel like you are going blank, your brain remembers it. The brain tends to remember things that are in pieces joint together into one, the same goes for public speaking. You become more confident in speaking once you start your speech as your memory works better.
Practice in the mirror
You might find it cliche and too basic, but practicing in front of a mirror helps a lot. You have to read out your speech first, then memorize it while looking in the mirror.
By practicing in front of a mirror, you learn to control your facial expressions and intended tone in the speech. The more you practice in the mirror, the more you will feel confident to speak in public. Your mirror is a way of you facing your fear by looking at your own self, so when you are on stage you do not stumble with words.
Talk slow, but not too slow
Some people tend to talk really slow or too fast during their speeches. This can affect the audience badly. If you speak too slow, the public gets bored and uninterested in your speech. On the other hand, if you speak fast, no one will understand what you said or intended to mean in your speech.
You have to practice speaking at a normal pace as you speak on a daily basis with your friends and family. You can even speak in front of your friends to get feedback over your pace. Your friends can help you with telling you if you are fast or slow.
Public speaking anxiety tips
Public speaking can be burdensome for people who have anxiety. The effort of you trying to go up to the stage and speak in front of the public is an achievement itself, and you should be proud of yourself for doing it.
If you feel anxious with the thought of speaking on the stage in front of the public, here are some public speaking tips:
It’s okay to be nervous
Nervousness is normal behavior that every person feels when they do public speaking. You can be nervous too, especially if it is your first time.
If you have practiced well, you will never mess up. It is like an automatic response that your brain and body are trained with. Nervousness releases adrenaline in your body that makes you feel more active and aware of what you are speaking. So, do not associate nervousness with your performance.
Leave your thoughts out
Public speaking is a fear that makes you overthink or hesitate. When you do too much thinking, it messes up your confidence and practice. Your thoughts can become more repetitive and worse as you go up to the stage. They can even make you stutter and lose focus.
The best tip is to leave your thoughts out, do not focus on your thoughts at all. You cannot stop them but you can choose to not focus. Once you leave them out, you will feel less anxious and more confident when speaking.
“It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.” by Rob Gilbert
Public speaking is all about speech and your confidence in giving the speech in front of the audience. Your posture plays an important role in all of this. The way you pose and stand can determine your body language and expression well to the audience.
One of the best and effective public speaking tips is to pose confidently. There is a common pose called the “superhero” pose in which you stand straight with your hands on your hips, your chest must be out and chin up. You can do this before doing the speech to build confidence in yourself.
Pause in between
Public speaking is to convince or convey something to the audience. Public speakers should ensure that the way they speak is clear enough that their audience understands it well. This is why pauses in between the speech are important.
Pauses help in giving time to collect and process ideas for the public. The pauses shouldn’t be too long, but only for a few seconds to compose yourself. Pauses also give time for you to take a breath and start again.
“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” – Martin Farquhar Tupper.
Humor helps in losing up the tension and the nervousness in you and the audience. The main aim of public speaking is to ensure that your audience has a good experience and learns something by listening to the speaker.
Humor like light jokes or making a short comment that can brighten up the mood can help the public to focus on you more. Even if it is a very serious topic, the public can be impressed if you use humor with it. Humor takes away the anxiety of impressing the audience.
Use catchy phrases
Public speaking is all about grabbing the attention of the listeners. Your speech should be written in such a way that it grabs attention instantly. Your phrases can be short and precise enough to perk up the ears of listeners to hear more of what you are saying.
Catchy phrases are mostly used at the start or at the end of the speech, but you can use some in-between as well to keep the attention towards you. Catchy phrases make you feel less nervous and anxious because you know that audience is listening to you, so the fear of failure is erased from your mind.
Public speaking tips by experts
There are many famous public speakers that have enough confidence and experience in public speaking that you would want to know. They have shared some public speaking tips for you to follow and apply in your speaking skills as well.
Here are some of them:
Control facial expressions and body gestures
Experts advise public speakers to control their gestures and make eye contact with the audience more often. As the public is looking at your face, your face should have the fitting expression to make them listen to you attentively.
Furthermore, your body gestures also make you stand out on the stage. You can use your hands or shake your head to convey the message. All of this can be practiced in front of the mirror.
Your presence on the stage is very important. An expert public speaker is the one who takes up the whole stage as their space. Stage presence is an important part of public speaking.
Stage presence is made through your confidence and control in your speech. The more confident you look and sound, your presence on the stage will stand out.
Personality is essential in public speaking. They should have a certain personality that is unique and impressive for the public to remember even after they are done speaking.
Their entrance on the stage, their speech, and their presence should be dazzling enough to stand out and make people feel impressed by whatever they speak. Your personality can make you or break you as a public speaker.
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” says Somers White.
Watch your recordings
One of the best public speaking tips that experts give is to monitor yourself by watching your recordings of giving a speech.
Giving a speech is burdening enough so you forget how you reacted or spoke because your mind goes blank after you are finished. You can watch the recordings to know how well you did and where you can improve yourself.
Public speaking quotes to remember
Some of the famous quotes that public speakers should remember to motivate and be more confident in speaking:
– “You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged.”– Seth Godin.
– “If you don’t want to preach, put stories in your speech.” – Andy Harrington.
-“The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say ‘Me too!’ versus ‘So what?’”– Jim Rohn.
– “If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” – Dianna Booher.
– “Always give a speech that you would like to hear.” – Andrii Sedniev.
– “What we say is important… for in most cases the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”– Jim Beggs.
– “A good orator is pointed and impassioned.” – Marcus T. Cicero.
– “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” – Mark Twain.
– “Find out what’s keeping them up nights and offer hope. Your theme must be an answer to their fears.” – Gerald C Myers.
– “The crowd shouldn’t dictate your performance” – Bernard Kelvin Clive.
– “Make sure that you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening!”– Dorothy Sarnoff.
– “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg.
Public speaking skills training
Public speaking skills can be achieved through training yourself. There are so many ways to be an exceptional public speaker through training. You can join different courses offered by various universities and colleges.
If you are not a student, there are many clubs and workshops held in different places that help in training for public speaking. Furthermore, there are online courses by authentic and experienced public speakers that you can take and train yourself.
One of the best public speaking tips for skill training is to practice and present.
Public speaking presentation
Presentation is a tricky way of public speaking because you have to present something and speak at the same time. Public speaking tips for presentations include not putting too much content on the slides that the public is unable to read. Your presentation should be brief and your speech should be elaborative of the written text to get your point across to the audience.
The key to the public speaking presentation is to prepare a presentation and speech well enough that they complement each other. Some people make the mistake of speaking something completely unrelated to the presentation which can cause them to lose points. Therefore, it is essential that both are prepared well.
The above mentioned public speaking tips are also applicable for public speaking presentations. You need to make eye contact with the audience, stand confidently, use hand gestures, use catchy phrases to grab attention, pause during the speech, and most importantly do not read from paper.
Public speaking skills are hard to learn just like any other skill, but your confidence and motivation to become a public speaker make it easier to learn those skills. Reading through this article you might have gotten good public speaking tips that you can apply for yourself.
Public speaking is not something someone is born with, instead, everyone builds these skills through practice and repetition. Remember, you cannot always be good at it the first time, or the second time, but every time you present you will learn something new and become more confident to be perfect the third time. Furthermore, it is a skill that everyone should have because they can be asked to present or speak in front of people anytime in life. So, personally, you should have public speaking skills as well.
Public speaking is not as complicated as people assume, and it is not as fearful as you think. The fear of public speaking can be overcome when you start doing it. Through public speaking, you can learn to put ideas into words and convey your thoughts and opinions clearly.
A successful person is one who can put his ideas into clear words for the world to understand, and that is only possible if you learn the skill of public speaking.