CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – AUGUST 13, 2020
How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills (Part Two)
10 Ways to Have More Confident Body Language
When it comes to public speaking, delivery is everything. Even if you have a great voice and good body language, your message will get lost if the audience can’t easily follow what you say. Below are some tips for developing good delivery skills:
• Speak slowly, but not too slowly. Talk too fast and your audience will have a hard time understanding you. Talk too slowly and you risk putting them to sleep. When it comes to public speaking, talking at a conversational pace is your safest bet.
• Pause between ideas. Great public speakers often pause for two to three seconds or even longer. A well-placed pause gives the audience time to digest what you are saying. It also makes you sound more confident and in control.
• Avoid filler words. Words such as “um,” “ah,” “you know,” and “like” diminish your credibility and distract from your message. Instead, replace these filler words with pauses.
• Carefully articulate and pronounce your words. A mumbling public speaker is hard to understand.
How to Read Body Language
Good public speakers are in tune with their audience. Public speaking is more than standing in front of a group and talking; you also need to engage your audience.
• Acknowledge your audience as soon as you take the stage. This helps to make you seem more like a “real” person and keeps a conversational tone.
• Grab their attention immediately. When you speak, you have about 60 seconds to capture your audience’s attention and captivate them before they tune out. Use this time to ask a rhetorical thought-provoking question, tell a captivating story, or share a shocking statistic—anything that will keep them intrigued.
• Find a friendly face. There’s bound to be friendly people in the audience. Find those people and pretend that you’re speaking to only them.
• Make eye contact. Regardless of how big your audience is, try to make eye contact with as many people as possible. It will make them feel like you are speaking directly to them.
Fear of public speaking is a common experience, and developing new public speaking skills can help you face your fear confidently. If you have extreme anxiety while speaking in public, however, it is important to seek help from your doctor or a trained mental health professional.
While improving your public speaking skills is helpful, for people with social anxiety, those efforts should be grounded in a solid framework for overcoming your anxiety.
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