6 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Performance

This article outlines simple, yet highly effective ways to prepare and deliver concise, well-organized, and compelling presentations. Successful public speaking requires persistence, and practice. Dedicating some time to developing your skills around the following 6 aspects will lead to marked improvements in your public speaking performance.

1. Plan and prepare thoroughly

Thorough preparation will enable you to speak confidently. Successful public speaking needs a plan. If you wish for the audience to understand your message, it must be clear and flow reasonably.

What is your goal? How do you wish the audience to react?

Your entire presentation or speech should move towards a well-defined purpose.

  • Outline for yourself what your intended outcome is for the audience.
  • Your intro is like a news headline; it needs to make the audience sit up.
  • Layout the key points that support your message. This will form the body of your presentation.
  • Have a strong conclusion and leave the audience with a clear call-to-action.

2. Overcome Fear & Anxiety

One cause of speaking anxiety is that we tend to focus too much on ourselves.

Public speaking is about communicating information to the audience, either for them to take action or for them to change their perspective. The presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the audience. If you embrace that attitude while speaking, it will significantly impact your ability to present with confidence.

Overcoming public speaking anxiety needs practice and preparation.

Methods such as using pauses and taking deep breaths will add control and clarity to the speech. Having a positive attitude and visualizing success will make you a more confident speaker.

3. Be Passionate

It’s important to be enthusiastic about your subject matter. When you are passionate about a subject, your enthusiasm and energy will transfer to your audience and they will be more interested to listen to what you have to say.

Should you have to speak on a topic not of your choice, you will need to study it well and try to find some aspect of it for which you can develop a passion.

4. Be Aware of and use Positive Body Language

Much of human communication takes place non-verbally. Audiences will assess a speaker and content by what they see as well as what they hear. Your audience subconsciously decodes all the body movements you communicate. This can work for you or against you depending on the body language you use.

Eye contact is an important non-verbal communication method. Just by looking at people, you can influence their focus and attentiveness. You have a chance to make your presentation personal, direct, and conversational.

5. Create Effective Visuals

It’s essential to invest time preparing and perfecting your slides. Here are 3 points to remember when creating your slides:

  • Use plentiful high-definition photos and graphs: A picture paints a thousand words.
  • Limit the text: The presentation shouldn’t be a lengthy report.
  • Avoid stock templates and overused images: Make your slides unique.

Remember: Don’t create slides to read them, create them to support your talk.

6. Practice, practice, practice!

Public speaking is a precious skill to learn. If you wish to become an influencer in your domain and have the opportunity to engage your audience, you will have to practice your skills. Try these methods:

  • Record yourself for later self-assessment.
  • Practice with an audience, even if it’s not your target audience.
  • Experiment with different voice tones, body language, and gestures.
  • Try to recreate the speech setting as much as possible by practicing in a similar environment to where you’ll be speaking.
  • Practice to perfect the timing of your speech. Correct timing is paramount.
  • Ask for candid feedback from others.

A Toastmasters club can offer a friendly and safe environment for you to practice, build confidence, and gain experience. Consider watching expert speakers to observe their techniques and learn from them.

Be Ready to Deliver a Phenomenal Speech

Many people have a talent for talking, but to be a successful speaker you must master the arts of public speaking. Master the 6 areas outlined in this article to deliver an organized and compelling presentation that any audience will thank you for.

About the author:

Harnil Oza is CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem, a mobile app development company in New York and India, having a team of the best app developers who deliver the best mobile solutions mainly on Android and iOS platforms. He regularly contributes his knowledge on leading blogging sites like top app development companies.

This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.

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