You’ve probably heard by now how important public speaking is in your career and ultimately your life.
If you can be able to present your thoughts in words that motivate others to take a particular direction, change an opinion or simply influence others, then you are simply unstoppable!
But becoming a good public speaker is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, practice and facing fears boldly.
To become a confident speaker, you must practice and hone the most useful, practical and advanced public speaking skills available to man.
These skills are what form the foundation towards your journey of becoming a great speaker whether it’s in your place of work, social functions or during impromptu speeches.
Starting now, here are the 4 significant public speaking skills you MUST know and practice
- Body language
What’s your understanding of body-language?
This has everything to do with non-verbal communication. It refers to things like eye-contact, gestures, voice variation, movement, body posture etc.
In public speaking, body language accounts for at least 60% during your presentation.
How well you use gestures for emphasis, your ability to make proper eye-contact with your audience, how clearly you can be heard all give a sense of confidence about you.
Nobody wants to listen to someone who is constantly inaudible, poorly dressed, can’t maintain eye contact, has no understanding of his content and overall lacks confidence.
Once you master how to develop and maintain the right body language, you will always be able to deliver on your presentation with ease and make sure that you deliver each point home.
- Encourage your audience to participate
This is by far one of the BEST skills you can possibly master in public speaking; the ability to have an active interaction with your audience.
No audience wants to be taken through a lecture or sit for hours listening to a boring presentation.
They want someone who will engage them, ask them questions, a speaker whose stories and presentation they can relate with.
Audience participation is one of the key public speaking skills that really builds your confidence when standing to speak in front of people.
Beforehand, always ensure you research on the nature of the audience you will be presenting to. Know their demographics such as age, gender, religion, social status etc.
This will help you develop techniques of engaging them appropriately such as use of humor, question, personal stories etc.
- Only focus on one message
This is a very fundamental skill you will need to learn as a public speaker. You need to have only ONE clear message.
The reason why often times you lose confidence and you start panicking during presentations is because your message is not clear.
Trying to deliver too many points or going off topic will definitely hit a miss with your audience.
What you need to have is one message which is supported by many other sub points. If your presentation is meant to focus on a topic like water, don’t be tempted to start talking about tea.
Having lack of clarity and one goal when speaking will only end up confusing you and the audience more.
Also practice before a presentation. Unless it’s an impromptu speech, ensure that you adequately prepare. This will help you know whether your message is coming out clearly and areas to tailor-make.
- Bring out your personality!
In public speaking, NEVER try to be someone you are not! Don’t attempt to speak like a prominent figure or fake your personality. Your audience will see right through it.
Instead, be yourself. Remember everyone wants to see the authentic version of you. Bring out your personality and eventually you will build your credibility.
Your audience will trust in you and your impact will be felt because they can relate to the REAL you.
Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel…
Learning these 4 crucial skills in public speaking takes time. No one is perfect. Even the best presenters get nervous and stumble every now and then. But every opportunity is a learning experience.
So start working on these skills today if you want to be a great public speaker.