You may think effective public speakers and communicators were born that way or probably they eloped from heaven and landed on earth.
Scrap that ideology, public speaking is a skill that can be learnt and mastered by anyone.
The only way to master any skill is by repetition until it becomes second nature.
These words of Elbert Hubbard practically explain the theory
“The only way to learn to speak is to speak and speak, and speak and speak, and speak and speak and speak.”
People take all the courses on public speaking without ever making it to the front of an audience.
However, I would be showing you these 5 practical steps that would put you on the spotlight:
1. SPEAK ON TOPICS THAT YOU HAVE AMPLE KNOWLEDGE ON
When starting off as a public speaker, you would want to talk about topics that meet or captivates your interest. Always speak on topics you are an authority or a thought leader on, however, you might also want to improve on your knowledge of the subject matter by making research and findings ahead of time.
You don’t want to sound like a broken record at any given occasion, you want your knowledge to be fresh like the morning dew so always make new findings on the subject matter.
2. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE
You should know your audience before starting out, prepare your presentations and write-ups having them in mind.
You would want to really want to appeal to their emotions, so study your audience before mounting the stage.
Your audience might be new to the subject matter or it might be an advanced learner.
You would also want to note the category of people, are they literate or non-literate, old or young, age range, gender. All these counts.
3. PROPER TIME MANAGEMENT
Time management is one of the essential skill every public speaker should master in order to succeed.
You don’t want to finish before the time is up, neither do you want to steal more time. So here is a tip to work your way around that, always use a timer, either on your phone or your clock.
Always make adjustments to your speech so that you relatively deliver a good speech within the given time frame.
4. DETERMINE THE TONE OF COMMUNICATION
Having studied your audience, you want to use a tone that relates to them, let me make it clear the tone of communication is the mood of the speech.
Speeches can be delivered more seriously, or more humorously, just remember to always choose a tone that resonates with your personality.
Be naturally as possible, generally, it is advised to use a conversational tone regardless of the size of the audience and topic. It helps carry everyone along.
Always remember, that you have the power to make your audience behave in a particular manner, you rule the stage, you are solely in charge.
5. USE BODY LANGUAGES /HOOK STATEMENTS
A hook is a sentence or a phrase that captures the attention of the audience.
Use this kind of statements to keep your audience engaged. Take your audience to a place and time, use body languages, make face gestures but never overdo it.
There you have it, my top 5 tips for improving your public speaking skills. Got any more tips to add to this? Do share them below in the comments.