9 Tips on How to Be A Better Speaker
Public speaking is comfortable for some people, but for most, it’s a daunting task. If you’re looking to become a better speaker here are some tips.
Rate of Speech
- Talk too fast because of being nervous. You try to get the information out as fast as possible so you can be done.
- Fast-talking will confuse the audience and make them disconnect
- Talk slower. This will help the audience understand more
- Strategic Pauses help. These make you talk slower and draw the audience in more
- Nonverbal communication compliments your speech: the way you’re holding yourself, posture, hand movements, and gestures communicate something, which can aid your speech or make it worse
- Nervous ticks affect unconscious body language, such as hands in pockets, etc.
- Control your body language so that instead of distracting your audience, you’re bolstering your points
- Don’t look in just one direction, look around at the whole crowd
- Making eye contact makes the audience feel more connected with you
- Tip, look overheads
- Too nervous? Start small by making eye contact with a couple of people and then work up
- Practice not so you can get it right. Practice so you can’t get it wrong
- Anxiety can block connections, so the more familiar with material the more comfortable you are. Practice through the mouth, opening those blockages
- Write your speech in bullet points, so you’re remembering topic points and not memorizing an essay
- Helping tools: Toastmasters resource, taking a public speaking course, watch speeches
- Practice till you don’t worry
- Record yourself giving the speech, once you are more familiar with the material
- Watch your takes and pick out what could be improved
- The take doesn’t lie.
- You will find you’re doing something you may be unaware of.
Know Your Audience
- Two Categories of people
- Fans/Supporters = people who are interested in the subject and want you to succeed
- Bored Haters = people who don’t care about your subject
- Don’t worry about the haters; your speech isn’t for them
- Focus on your topic, not your performance
- The more invested you are in the subject the less you worry about the errors you make
- This equals a better speech and feels like talking to a friend.
- Dress well and try to make an impression
- Halo Effect = exaggerated emotional coherence
- People make instant first impressions/judgments to fill in gaps for something they don’t know
- Look good and people take you more seriously and look over errors. Look bad = opposite
Take a Breath
- No one’s perfect
- Seeking perfection = anxiety & mistakes
- “I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be useful, I want to be good, and I want to sound like myself” – Confessions of a Public Speaker
- There’s no perfect speech