Many people have the fear of public speaking and it is common too. In fact, only about 10 percent of people in the United States say they really like it. Developing public speaking skills can give you a huge advantage in your career because it can lead to opportunities that others might have avoided.
Many people who feel very comfortable in public places initially have a significant fear of public speaking. By overcoming this fear, practicing, and gaining confidence, you can bring great benefits to your life. Karen McCleave has great experience in public speaking and with 30 years of experience in public service, she has also served as an Assistant Crown Attorney in Ontario. Karen McCleave enthusiastically supports live music and art, especially that of Canadian painters.
Here are 5 practical tips to improve your public speaking skills:
Learn great speakers:
“Public speaking is the number-one fear… even over death!” said Emily Deschanel, an American actress. She portrayed Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan in the Fox crime procedural series Bones.
Observing and learning from outstanding speakers offers one of the best ways to improve your own public speaking skills. First, look for examples of great speakers on YouTube.
When you see these people, pay attention to their body language. You’ll find that it tends to stay open and interesting. They use their hands and arms to emphasize their most important points. They also avoid unnecessary stress and use space wisely to grab the viewer’s attention.
Relax your body language:
Fear of public speaking can make you feel tense, which has a negative impact on your body language. The best speakers maintain proper posture, make eye contact with the audience, and move naturally.
Practice voice and breath control:
For many people, public speaking can change the time of day, causing them to speak more quickly than usual. Be aware of this phenomenon and continue to follow the presentation. This will help calm your nerves and allow your audience to better understand what you are saying.
Prepare talking points:
Before delivering your speech, prepare a series of talking points containing the key messages that you want your audience to know, feel, and understand by the time you finish speaking. Start with 3-5 general messages and then outline a few key points that support each message.
Look for feedback and adjust accordingly:
Focus on the audience. Measure their reaction, refine your message, and be flexible. Giving a canned speech will either cause you to lose your mind or confuse even the most loyal listeners.
Speaking beyond boundaries means training your mind to put your thoughts and feelings into words twice as fast. It’s about learning to speak your mind, present information, or make suggestions, lightning-fast, under pressure, but still maintain your composure and stay calm and in control. Learn powerful techniques to quickly gather your thoughts and speak persuasively in public. Once you master the system, you will thrive as a speaker.