Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills Next Week!

If you want to achieve success in the business arena how your present yourself and how you talk will matter. In business you have to cultivate relationships since you will be dealing primarily with people. And relationships can only be improved if you know how to communicate effectively. People who know how to speak really stand out from the crowd. They appear more capable, more confident and they give off an air of competence. On the other hand those who appear unsure of what to say do not inspire confidence and trust.

When I was in college, we often had to present case studies and reports. I cannot say that I enjoyed these presentations. In fact, I used to rush through my reports just so I could get them over with as quickly as possible. It was only when I joined Toastmasters when I realized that public speaking could be fun.

Here are a few tips in public speaking that work for me.

1.      Practice, practice, practice. Whether it is giving a prepared speech or hosting a beauty pageant, I have found that the best way to prepare is to practice. Do not ever try to “wing it.” The best speakers prepare their material extensively. Even Lincoln, who is said to be an excellent speaker, prepared his 5-minute speeches for days. You do not have to memorize your lines word for word. But write everything down. And repeat it at least 6 times. Go over your script again and again. The phrasing does not have to be the same as long as the idea is there.

2.      Fake it until you make it. Even if you do not feel confident, even if you are deathly nervous, do not, I repeat, do not let it show. Fake your confidence. Act confident and eventually you will be confident. If you have done your part in preparing for it, then fake it until you make it. Bring your chest out, smile, and put on a show.

3.      Smile! Have you ever noticed that you automatically tend to smile back at people who smile at you? So when you are on stage, smile. You will immediately appear both confident and approachable. You will exude warmth and people will want to listen more to you.

4.      Tell Stories. I have always been fond of telling stories. Almost every speech I have given contains a story. Stories have a way of making your point clearer without boring your audience to death. Even the greatest speaker of all time-Jesus Christ-was a master storyteller.

5.      Speak from the heart. Audiences have psychic abilities. Really, they do! They can tell whether you are sincere or not.  So speak from the heart. That is the only way to reach your audience. When you speak with your heart your message takes on new meaning. It is given life. When you share who you truly are with your audience, then you will be able to give the best speech of your life.

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