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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.

  1.  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
  1.  Body Language

  • 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
  1.  Eye Contact

  • Don’t look in just 1 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
  1.  Practice

  • 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
  1.  Video Yourself

  • 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.
  1.  Know Your Audience

  • 2 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
  1.  Focus

  • 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.
  1.  Appearance

  • 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
  1. 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

Public speaking is a skill that all can learn and improve on. Following these tips may help you get to where you want to be and become a better speaker. So let’s all take a breath because you got something to offer that all could appreciate listening to.

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