Public Speaking 101: The Ultimate Art of Communication
Public speaking is a powerful skill that one can easily learn and use. It can easily open doors to endless opportunities, whether you are looking to succeed in an interview, business pitching, or simply just want to enhance your communication skills, mastering this ultimate form of communication is indeed a useful pursuit.
In this article, we will dive into the essentials of public speaking and provide you with help on how to tackle your fear in front of your audience, how to engage with your audience and how body language is also a part of public speaking.
Understanding Public Speaking
Before we go deeper, let’s define what Public Speaking is. Public speaking, at its core, is the art of delivering a message or an information, to an audience. It goes beyond words, it is the art of using your voice, body language, and techniques to persuade, engage and influence your audience. Public speaking plays a vital role in our day-to-day routine.
The type of information communicated is structured to inform, persuade, and entertain.
Tackling Fear of Public Speaking
The biggest challenge for individuals when it comes to public speaking is the fear of public speaking. In medical terms, it is called glossophobia, and considered a very common type of phobia. It is believed to affect up to 75% of the world population. Some individuals may feel a slight nervousness at the very thought of public speaking, while others experience full-on panic and fear, according to Psycom.net.
However, the nervous feeling that creeps in before stepping onto the stage is completely natural, and sometimes, even speakers with years of experience feel it.
The key to overcoming your fear of public speaking is to PREPARE, PRACTICE and BREATH!
- Prepare as if the speech you are going to deliver will be your last speech!
Prepare things that you want to say, a script if you want to, so that you will get familiar with what you are going to talk about. If you deliver a speech about something that you are not familiar with, you will more likely got lost and will not be able to recover quickly.
Carefully plan out the information you are going to deliver. Do you want to include props? Visual or maybe audio aids to help you deliver the speech? Decide ahead of time!
- Practice like there is no tomorrow!
Practice your speech, over and over again! Practice it in front of your friends, and ask for feedback. Ask them which part of your speech you can improve. What if you have no friends? Well, you can record yourself so that you can watch the video and find opportunities for improvement.
When practicing with your friends, tell them to ask you questions, so that you can be prepared to answer questions from the audience, and to help you familiarize with the topic you are presenting more.
- Deep breath!
Before stepping on to the stage, take a deep breath. Hold it, and then exhale. This can be helpful when trying to calm down.
How Do You Become A Better Speaker?
- Body language is a must! – When we speak in any situation, whether in a formal setting or maybe just a catching up session with old friends, we do not really speak with what is coming from our mouth. We also speak with our body language. Body language is the message that our body conveys to our audience. From our facial expressions, to your posture and eye contact, they all add up to the real ‘intention’ behind what we are saying.
- The audience is your focus! – Remember that your purpose being in front of your audience is to deliver valuable information that may help them. By focusing on serving the audience, we guarantee you that it will help you to relax.
- Interact with the audience! – Involve the audience with your speech. Let them feel like you are talking WITH them, and not just TO them.
All in all, learning the skills of public speaking can be very beneficial to all age groups– from working adults to students, public speaking may help you to excel in your presentations, interviews and finally one day, it will help you to speak in front of your family in law.