Do you get sweaty palms just thinking about standing up in front of a bunch of people and sharing something with them? You’re not alone. Research shows that at least 75% of Americans fear public speaking.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to alleviate your anxiety—from watching inspiring speakers on YouTube for tips to taking paid lessons to improve your public speaking skills. Read on to learn all the tricks!
Table of Contents
Know Your Audience
To become the best public speaker you can be, you need to know who you’re speaking to. Understanding what your audience wants and expects is crucial. You can tailor your message accordingly and deliver your content in a manner that resonates with them.
Take time to research the audience before every presentation. This involves identifying their demographics (like age, income level, and job), backgrounds, and interests. Try to interact with your audience on the stage—ask questions, conduct polls, or run group activities.
Learn Calming Techniques
One thing coaches teach in singing or speaking lessons is techniques to help students calm themselves before they get on stage. These include deep breathing, meditation, or physical movements.
Watch a Charismatic Speaker
And not just one; watch many! And take notes while you’re watching.
- What do they do well?
- What did they say that fell flat?
- What props and tools do they use?
There are lots of online platforms you can find motivational speakers on. TED Talks is a great one. Or you can check these military motivational speakers.
Of course, attending live events is also a great idea, so look for presentations in your town or city regularly.
Practice Makes Progress
Are you preparing for a business presentation? Maybe you’ve been asked to speak at your old high school. Preparation will make you feel more confident no matter why you’re talking.
Unexpected things can happen when on stage. For example, you might have technical difficulties, or an audience member might ask you a challenging question. When practicing your speech, consider all the possible scenarios and have an answer or backup in place.
If you want to improve your skills in general, practice in front of friends or family, join a public speaking club or hire a coach.
Ask for Feedback
If you want to become a top motivational speaker, you need to improve your presentation skills continually. And the only way to do this is to understand what you’re doing wrong.
After any event, ask for feedback from the audience or your employers. You can also record your performances and ask for feedback from peers on social media.
Public Speaking Skills: You Can Improve!
Cultivating stellar public speaking skills doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months or even years of dedication and practice of the craft.
But if you put in the hard work, one day, you’ll step on that stage with confidence rather than fear. So spend time learning tips and tricks from gurus, and don’t be afraid to hire a professional coach if you need extra help.
For more advice on everything from home decor to mental health, read the other articles on our blog.
Last Updated on February 10, 2023