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7 ways to improve your public speaking skills

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Whether you have a big presentation coming soon, you’re preparing for a job interview or simply want to master the art of public speaking, I want to give you seven tips you should keep in mind to improve your public speaking skills.

1. Stop trying to be a great speaker

To truly connect with an audience, first understand that people want to listen to someone who is relaxed and comfortable as well as interesting.

In the routine conversations we have every day, we have no problem being relaxed. Yet too often when we stand up to give a speech something changes. We focus on the public at the expense of the speaking.

To be an effective public speaker, you must do just the opposite. Focus on the speaking and let go of the public. If you can carry on a relaxed conversation with one or two people, you can give a great speech.

Whether your audience consists of two people or 2,000, and whether you’re talking about the latest medical breakthrough or what you did today at work, it’s never about turning into someone you’re not. It’s all about talking directly to people, being your authentic self and making a connection. That’s all.

2. Stop trying to be perfect

When you make a mistake, no one cares but you. Even the most accomplished public speaker will make mistakes.

Just remember that the only person who really cares about any one mistake is the person doing the speaking. Whether you’re the president of the United States or a communication teacher like me, you will make mistakes. It’s part of being human, and our humanity is what makes us great speakers, because it’s what enables us to connect with our audience.

Audiences don’t want to hear perfection. They want to hear from someone who is real.

imagen-public-speaking1.png

3. Visualize. If you can see it, you can speak it

Great winners in all walks of life draw on the power of visualizing. Sales people envision themselves closing the deal, executives picture themselves developing new ventures, athletes close their eyes and imagine themselves making the basket or hitting the home run.

In public speaking, the best way to fight anxiety and become more comfortable is by practicing in the one place no one else can see you: your mind. If you visualize on a consistent basis, your mind will become used to the prospect of speaking in public, and pretty soon you’ll find that the idea no longer elicits those same feelings of anxiety and fear.

If you have a presentation to give, set aside 30 minutes a day to visualize yourself giving it.

  • Do so in as much detail as possible.
  • See yourself up at the podium.
  • Feel yourself relaxed and comfortable.
  • See yourself delivering the whole thing and connecting with your audience.

If you do this every day, by the time the real presentation arrives your mind will be trained to accept the situation as familiar. You will feel much more relaxed and confident in front of the audience.

4. Be disciplined

Practice makes good. Our goal is not to be a perfect public speaker, since there is no such thing, but to be an effective one. Like anything else in life, that takes practice.

It’s easy to take communication for granted, since we spend our lives speaking to people. But when our prosperity is directly linked to how good we are in front of a group, we need to give the task the same attention as any other serious job.

For most of us, however, the best way to practice is simply by giving a speech in the comfort of our home or office. The more you practice it, the more prepared you will be, and that leads to confidence.

If you have a speech to give in a week, rehearse it on a daily basis.

  • Do this every day, and when it’s time to deliver the presentation, you will be prepared.
  • You’ll know the material inside and out.

Along with visualization, this is the most effective way to overcome anxiety and build confidence ****about performing before an audience.

5. Make it personal

Regardless of the topic, audiences respond best when speakers personalize their communication. Take every opportunity to put faces on the facts of your presentation.

People like to hear about other people, about the triumphs, tragedies and everyday humorous incidents that make up their lives. Focus on this. Whenever possible, include yourself personally in your public speaking. Not only will it help your listeners warm to you, but it will also do wonders at putting you at ease.

After all, where is your expertise greater than on the subject of you?

imagen-public-speaking2.png

6. Inspire. Speak to serve

Yes, talk about yourself, but make the main focus is not yourself but your audience. When you think about it, the proper purpose of a speech is not to benefit the speaker but to serve the audience, usually through:

  1. Teaching
  2. Motivating
  3. Entertaining

So in all of your preparation and presentation, constantly think of how you can help your audience get what they want from you. When you do this, your role as a speaker becomes a role of meeting the needs of the audience.

7. Build anticipation

Leave your audience wanting more. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my years in communications is that, when it comes to public speaking, less is usually more.

Did this article leave you wanting more? Then it’s time for you to start the Public Speaking Workshop and become an expert in public speaking!

Taller de Oratoria
Taller de Oratoria

Taller de Oratoria

Conoce las técnicas de oratoria que te permitirán organizar tus ideas, escribir discursos claros y precisos, entregándolos de una forma que genere el mayor impacto en tu audiencia.
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5515Puntos

I read your note, I felt it years ago, but when I started to teach English for old people, They told me: You are so young to be our teacher, I don’t come to your class !!! This was a terrible experience, but I didn’t have any problem, that experience taught me that It’s never impossible in the life. Now I study in Platzi to get a better job in my career like an English teacher and Chemistry and Metallurgic Engineer.

2
30946Puntos
un mes

Hi Sireya! 👋🏽
I’m so sorry for your bad experience and I’m happy to read your comment. I know you can get a better job. 😊
If you need help to your path, I’m here to help.

1
5515Puntos
un mes

Hi Iris !!!
Thanks for your comment. I’ll take your word !!! For me, It was a great experience, because I taught English for many years ago. Now I want to work again in English and Engineer.
I big, huge !!!

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20625Puntos

Hi!
It´s the first time a Public Speaking Course really motivates me and I think because is about being a better communicator and not trying to become someone else. I really like the way Ana K. approaches and explains things.

2
1904Puntos
un mes

THANK YOU Norvys! This is so encouraging. I feel so happy you are able to enjoy the course and overcome your challenges.

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30071Puntos

This is amazing 😃 I will save this post in my favorites ❤️

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177347Puntos

Excellent. Thank you

1
1904Puntos
un mes

My pleasure George! Would you add any other tip?

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30946Puntos

This is an amazing post! 😊
I really want to improve my speaking skills. I’m kinda introvert and it’s so hard to me. 😖

1
1904Puntos
un mes

Iris … take the course! I will be honored to help you overcome your challenges. ❤️ I will be looking forward to seeing you in the course!

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8829Puntos

It is like the phrase of His Aera Majesty Micheal Jorden. I quote “I know success because I know failure”

2
9624Puntos

Such a great article 👍

1
1904Puntos
un mes

Thanks Adrian! I truly believe improving our Public Speaking skills helps us reach important professional and personal goals!

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12505Puntos

Thanks for the tips, this course look very great! 👾🚀

1
1904Puntos
un mes

You are welcome Edward! I’m sure we will learn so much together. Hope you can include it in your Learning Path.

2
8829Puntos

From this reading I like the lesson of learning from mistakes. Of not trying to be perfect but of learning from your mistakes. To persevere until reaching.

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1904Puntos
un mes

This is a powerful learning - I’m extremely happy you are embracing learning from mistakes - those are life-long lessons.

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8829Puntos
un mes

It is like the phrase of his Aera Majesty Micheal Jorden. I quote “I know success because I know failure”