If you dread speaking publicly, you are not alone. Public speaking is considered as the most feared thing, of course after death and spiders. But if you are in a leadership role, you have to tame your fears and grab that microphone. Before you reach for the microphone, would you like to know how to be better public speaker? Yes? Then let’s get started.

Here’s how to be a great public speaker by honing your public speaking skills:

  • Observe great public speakers and try to figure out what type of speaker you want to be. Whether you want to be all professional or you want to funny and lively, listening to TED Talks or iconic speakers will help you brush your public speaking skills.
  • Pen down everything that you want to cover, every single thing.
  • Mark important points that you cannot afford to miss. This will provide you with key points that you need to discuss.
  • Keep in mind that a 2000 words speech will last for 10 minutes. So if you are supposed to speak for an hour, be prepared with at least 12000 words. It may seem too much, but it’s better to talk more than to finish your speech before time.
  • After jotting down all the points, merge ideas that can be discussed together. You want to create a presentation that has an introduction, a preview, key points, a recap, a Q&A, and a closer.
  • Know if you can bring notes. Most of the times, you are allowed to use notes, so it will be easier for you to memorize the key points.
  • To be a better public speaker, you don’t only have to focus on what you say, but also focus on how you say it. Visuals, in the form of hand gestures and facial expressions, are the deciding factor if the audience will connect to your speech.
  • Rehearse it in front of a mirror.
  • If you don’t already know how your voice sounds, record your speech and listen to it. Analyze how it sounds and then make changes wherever necessary.
  • Do not neglect the importance of tone and pace. Even if you have a loud voice, use a microphone, it will help you to speak with a normal voice while using varied tone.
  • Speak slower than you normally would. This will give some time to your audience to collect and understand the information.
  • Don’t rely too much on technology. If you require a graph to explain your point clearly, include it in a slide. But don’t include information that doesn’t necessarily require visuals to support it. The more you rely on technology, the more risk you are taking. The lesser you use technology, the more you allow people to focus on you and thus prove to be a better public speaker.
  • You need to know that events don’t always turn up the way you want them to. So, the presentation won’t necessarily go as you expected.
  • Work your power pose. Standing straight and tall not only compels the audience to feel the power of your presence, it will also make them believe whatever you are saying or about to say.
  • Be yourself.

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