8 Ways to Become a Better Speaker and Why You Should

If you take my advice just one time, make this that piece of advice:  Learn to speak to a crowd.  Whether the crowd is in front of you, watching you on video, or even a webinar, you need to know how to address groups of people.  This is a talent you can teach yourself and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

No matter where your life takes you, if you can speak in front of a crowd, you will go farther than the people who cannot.  Being able to get your message across to a group of people is one of the most powerful weapons a person can have in their career arsenal.

If you can convey your message in a clear and concise way, people will listen to you and once you have the knack for getting a person’s true attention, the world is your oyster.

For some of you, the mere idea of speaking in front of a crowd makes you shiver, but it is a fear that you can easily get over.  Here are some tips that can make you a better public speaker.

  1. Know your content – There is nothing worse than when somebody gives a speech on a topic they are not completely read up on.  The more you know about your topic, the more confident you will be as a speaker.  Whether you are speaking in front of an audience of three or three hundred, the crowd will sense it if you are winging it.  Do your homework and know your material.
    .
  2. Practice, but don’t over practice – Practice your entire presentation several times, out loud.  After a few runs, record yourself.  As you play it back, take notes on areas you feel need improvements.  Make the necessary changes and record yourself again.  Repeat these steps until you feel you have nailed it, then stop.  Some people make the mistake of over rehearsing and over editing their copy.  The most important thing is that your presentation makes sense and conveys your message.
    .
  3. Don’t be monotone – If you do not speak with enthusiasm, your audience will not be enthused.  Make your voice fluctuate.  Let the audience know how passionate you are about your topic.  When you are excited about a certain part, make sure it comes across in your voice.  “Ask not what you country can do for you” would just be a side note if JFK had said it in monotone!
    .
  4. “Ask” for applause – Take a few minutes to search for some State of the Union Addresses on YouTube.  The media always counts the number of applause breaks in those speeches, so the Presidents purposely incorporate them into their speeches.  Take notice of how they use the speed of their wording, emphasis on words or phrases, and dramatic pauses right before the Congress breaks out into applause.  It’s as if they are asking the audience to start clapping.  If you can perfect this, you will have applause on demand.
    .
  5. Eliminate the Ums – Saying “um” is a common replacement for words when you don’t know what to say.  This is a no-no in public speaking.  Instead of saying “um” when searching for words, repeat your last sentence or simply say nothing.  That pause gives you a moment to come up with your next words and gives the audience a chance to let the last thing you said sink in.  It takes a bit of practice, but once you nail this, you will be well on your way to becoming a professional speaker.
    .
  6. Get to know your audience – If you are speaking from a stage, you should make an effort to mingle with the folks you are going to be speaking to, before you go on.  Familiarity will give you confidence.  Make an extra effort to seek out the people sitting in the first few rows.  If you get to know those people, you can focus on them while speaking and it will seem more like you are talking to a friend.  If possible, try and get people you already know to sit close to the stage.  This way, you can look to them and not feel like you are in front of a group of strangers.
    .
  7. Use personal stories – The audience is far more likely to relate to your talk if you incorporate a personal touch.  Make them realize how your topic can affect a real person, namely you.  It allows them to get a glimpse of who they are listening to, making you more of a human being, than just some public speaker.
    .
  8. Join Toastmasters – If you are serious about learning to be a better public speaker, then Toastmasters is a club for you.  There are chapters all over the world and anybody can join.  Toastmasters is a club filled with people who want to be better communicators and mentors that help people achieve that goal.  In addition to learning great speaking skills, you will also be networking with other like minded individuals and that is never a bad thing.
Did you enjoy this article?
Signup today and receive free tips and updates straight in your inbox. We will never share or sell your email address.

Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /home/ebrian/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seo-facebook-comments/facebook/base_facebook.php on line 1273