The best way to improve your public speaking skills is to do public speaking. It may start with speeches to your mirror or your pet. But eventually you will need to try it on others. Public speaking does not always mean you have to prepare a speech. It could be in the form of better communication to customers and coworkers.
If there are organizations within your company, community, or church that would allow you to practice public speaking, join them, volunteer for them, and participate. Although it will take you out of your comfort zone, it will prepare you to for that time when you need to shine.
Here are 4 of the 10 great tips I provide in my latest book, Be Indispensable!. Remember and use these tips to help you wow your audience:
- A comforting thought is to know that most people in the audience want you to do well. They are on your side. Have you ever gone to a presentation, hoping to see the presenters fall on their faces? Of course not. Your audience wants you to be successful, which is why they are investing their time to hear what you have to say.
- Be yourself. Your presentation is not about being perfect. It is about “connecting with others” and delivering a sincere message. Audiences want to hear from people who are genuine.
- Proper preparation and rehearsal can reduce nervousness by 75 percent. Proper breathing techniques can reduce nervousness by another 15 percent. Your mental state accounts for the remaining 10 percent.
- State your three major points in a positive, proactive manner. People are often defensive when problems are presented, while audiences are generally more enthusiastic when they hear about opportunities. Examples: “We can improve customer satisfaction” instead of “We are losing customers.” “We can increase profits” instead of “We are losing money.” “We can retain our valuable employees” instead of “We are losing our best employees.”