Around 75% of the population rates public speaking as their number one fear. Many people let their fears hold them back; however, anyone can be good at public speaking with some practice.
So, what is public speaking?
Public speaking is when you speak to an audience. Usually, it is in real-time, but it can also be pre-recorded with the rise of technology. There are many reasons why people fear it so much, but it is important to focus on how to be better at public speaking.
Strong public speaking skills help you express your truth and communicate effectively. You can get over your fear with some simple public speaking advice and practice. Read this public speaking guide to learn more.
1. Study Skilled Public Speakers
An excellent place to start learning how to be better at public speaking is by example. Study public speakers, such as Jackie Summers, to learn how to deliver a speech effectively. You can take note of their tone of voice, body language, pauses, and other vital aspects that can inform your practice.
2. Focus on Body Language
It is natural to focus on the words of your speech, but did you know that nonverbal communication also plays a significant role? Scan your body for areas of tension, such as your jaw and shoulders. Work on relaxing these areas, which will help you settle into the speech.
Good body language also makes your delivery more effective, as the audience can focus on what you are saying. Practice making eye contact too, as your confidence grows.
3. Breath and Voice Control
Anxiety can make you speak faster, which can reduce clarity and diction. Practice breathing techniques to steady your speech and communicate effectively.
You can try breathing techniques such as deep diaphragmatic breathing or box breathing. With box breathing, you inhale through your nose, hold, exhale, and hold, all for the same count. You can start with three seconds and build up to longer counts.
4. Prepare Efficiently
Strike a balance between preparation and not over-preparing. Have some basic cue cards, which you can glance at if you need them. However, taking in pages of notes can confuse you and prevent you from making eye contact with the audience.
Practice in front of a mirror or record yourself to notice areas you can improve. Practice your speech, so you are familiar with it before the event. Also, consider your audience and how to cater your speech to engage them.
5. Enjoy Yourself
It is natural to feel some nerves before public speaking, but try to enjoy the process too. Visualize positive outcomes before the speech.
Also, be yourself, embrace the pauses, and focus on your intention behind delivering the speech.
How to Be Better at Public Speaking
The best way to learn how to be better at public speaking is through practice and compassion towards yourself. You can also get feedback from loved ones or colleagues before a speech to boost your confidence.
After some time, you may even find you enjoy public speaking! Start with these public speaking tips and become empowered by public speaking.
Did you like this article? Read on for more life hacks!