A lot of us have had the fear of it since we were made to recite poetry at school, but the fear of public speaking is of course, very real and a lot of us still struggle to come to terms with it even in our adult lives. For many of us, the fear of speaking in front of a crowded room is second only to the fear of dying but don’t let that put you off. Giving presentations, speeches and talks is an effective and valuable way to really promote yourself and your business to ultimately find new leads.
Remember that all the best public speakers had to start somewhere and very few of them were comfortable doing it at the start. Through practice and experience, you will find you will be more at ease when doing it. It sounds like a cliché, but if you want to become a better public speaker then you have to get out there and speak!
Seek Speaking Opportunities
Now, this doesn’t have to necessarily be a professional speech. You can practice in all sorts of different environments such as at your local club or society, becoming a volunteer, running exercise or running groups or even looking at joining your local theatre groups. These are all examples where you will get plenty of opportunities to develop your skill in public speaking.
Listen to others
We learn by standing on the shoulders of other giants and by unconsciously listening and watching how others speak in public will give you better insight in what to do when you next find yourself presenting or talking to a room full of people. When you next take the time to listen to someone, try not to focus on the content, but pay attention to the way they deliver the words. At the same time take notes of their style, phrases, and ideas.
Train your voice
Like training any muscle, your vocal cords are no different and training your voice will improve accuracy and clarity when delivering certain phrases and content. A fantastic way to do this is by playing word games, practicing tongue twisters, learning different voice warm ups or even joining a choir to really stretch yourself. You can watch videos online or purchase books on voice coaching if this is something that you really want to improve on.
It is so important to practice and of course, it pays off in the long run. I’m sure you will have heard this before but try practicing in front of different family members, friends or even trusted work colleagues that will give you helpful advice. Or rehearse and record yourself. Many of us don’t like the sound of our own voices, but try and look beyond that and pick out where you think you can improve so that when you deliver your next speech, you can deliver it with us much clarity and confidence as possible.