There are many circumstances where having exceptional public speaking skills can aid you in opening doors to new opportunities and advancing your career, even if you do not have to regularly speak in front of an audience.
Follow the four-step guide below to become a better public speaker in any field:
Like an essay, a formal speech or presentation should be structured in a topic format complete with a thesis and conclusion. Continue to support the message you’re trying to get across with evidence.
Even though the speech you have in mind is perfectly structured, that does not mean that there is no room for practice. Practicing your speech or presentation aloud in front of a friend or alone can help you feel more confident and prepared before you speak in front of an audience.
Speak in a conversational manner.
It’s best to avoid reading directly from a paper in front of you. Instead, try having an outline that highlights the topics that you want to talk about and only glance at it when you want to check on what you’re going to talk about next. Doing this lets the audience know that you know what you’re talking about.
Keep in mind the wording in your speech affects how people will react to it. Avoid the phrase “I think that…” to rid every trace of uncertainty in the message that you are trying to get across to your audience. Instead, use phrases that include statistics, personal experiences, and facts.
Engage with the audience.
Don’t be afraid to ask the audience a target-appropriate question or ask for a volunteer. This allows your speech to become more interactive and can even spark some insightful discussion.
Asking the audience a question can also make you feel more comfortable since the speaking opportunity will become more like a conversation and less like a lecture.
Be aware of your body language.
Body language is one of the most important factors in delivering a successful speech. The 7-38-55 rule is a formula created by Professor Emeritus of Psychology (UCLA) Albert Mehrabian that claims that a message is successfully communicated with 7% spoken word, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language.
Maintaining eye contact with the audience, standing up straight, and using hand gestures can go a long way to encourage people to actively listen to what you are saying.
These steps will help you have a better public speaking experience in any scenario or any industry, including the classroom environment. When you implement these techniques in your presentations, you will have a better chance at developing your career.
Take these steps into the classroom, on Zoom, or in the office next time you want to give a stellar presentation in front of your peers.