Haris Ahmed of Chicagoon Improving Public Speaking Skills
Haris Ahmed of Chicago knows that in the business world, speaking effectively is a must. Whether you are going on an interview, asking your boss for a raise (or a bigger budget), selling your product to bidders/purchasers, speaking with clients, giving a presentation, or rallying the troops for a long-haul network upgrade, you are going to need to be at your best with public speaking. Problem is, most schools don’t really give you much in the way of training for public speaking.
Even if you don’t need to make regular presentations in front of a group, there are plenty of situations where good public speaking skills can help you advance your career and create opportunities. For example, you might have to talk about your organization at a conference, make a speech after accepting an award, or teach a class to new recruits. Speaking to an audience also includes online presentations or talks; for instance, when training a virtual team, or when speaking to a group of customers in an online meeting. Here are some tips on how to improve your public speaking skills:
Practice and prepare.All kinds of people have been known to feel some physiological reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands when asked to speak in public. Do not associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself. Repetition is the mother of all skills. With more practice on your presentation, you’re more likely to perfect it. Stand in front of a mirror and speak for few minutes on a different topic every day. If possible, record yourself on a phone camera. Public speaking is a learnable skill and anybody can master this skill if they decide to.
Know your audience.As a public speaker you should be well aware of the makeup of your audience- their background, profession, expectations and priorities. This exercise will provide you with valuable insights on how to structure your message. Before you begin to craft your message, consider who you intend to deliver it to. Learn as much about your audience as you can, as this can help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.
Get comfy with your environment.Check out the location where you will be speaking before the event happens. It will help you to feel more comfortable and secure when the big day arrives. Another suggestion would be, if the event will allow it,is to plant a few supportive friends or family members in the audience who can throw you an encouraging look or two as you are presenting.
Be comfortable with silence.Learning to feel ok with silence will help you take your time when speaking publicly. You don’t want to rush your speech. Silence between lines will always feel longer to you than to those not speaking. Just smile and gather yourself but never take too long. If your message is good enough, the audience will not mind occasional pauses.