At some point in their lives, it is likely that everyone will be required to speak to a small or large audience. From hosting events to making presentations in school or college, public speaking forms an essential part of an individual’s life. Apart from this, the need for public speaking can arise in our day-to-day lives, be it speaking at a family event or maybe speaking at a debating competition or for a class assignment.
Often people are afraid of speaking in public and it is said that the fear of public speaking in some people outstands the fear of death! We think that the audience judges us by the way we speak which is why public speaking leaves a person anxious and nervous. However, this fear can be overcome with different techniques and regular practice.
Importance of public speaking
Public speaking is one of those things which, if you can master it, will make your life much easier and will make you a confident person in any field. It will help you gain preference over others in a competitive environment. Public speaking also involves good communication and persuasion skills which are highly valued in all areas.
Improving your public speaking skills can boost your self-confidence. You can put your points forward clearly and quickly, and inform, motivate and win over an audience. Leadership skills are also greatly reflected in a good public speaker.
Strategies to improve public speaking skills
1. Prepare thoroughly
The first step is to be clear about what you want to speak about and what points you want to focus on. It is important to prepare your speech with clarity of thought because if you don’t understand it, your audience won’t either. Preparation includes structuring the speech and identifying points of interest to the target audience.
2. Watch videos of good speakers
Many videos by great speakers can be found online. Watch them and you will notice their strategies, ways of speaking and what makes them good speakers. It will help you to know where to pause and how to win the attention of the audience.
Former U.S. President Barrack Obama, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (winner of public speaking championship), Dr Vivek Bindra, Sandeep Maheshwari are a few noteworthy speakers. You can also check out the TedX channel on YouTube for more great speakers.
Himanshu Talwar (Ph.D.) is a management consultant and an educationist. With a zeal and passion to share his experience and knowledge, he has been conducting workshops for students of all ages for more than a decade.