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7 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Dentist - I can handle. Heights - No big deal. Public Speaking - Holy Sh*t, I'd rather die. Just thinking about the public speaking makes people really anxious. Sweaty palms, dripping with sweat, feeling like you want to pee or vomit, or both at the same time. And we're not even speaking about doing TED Talks, we're talking about regular public speaking events.


Public Speaking scares the hell out of people. If you want to be a better public speaker and improve your public speaking skills, then check out our public speaking tips.



1. GETTING NERVOUS IS TOTALLY NORMAL.

We all get nervous when we are public speaking. It's normal, it's natural - we all get nervous. The heart rate soars (not necessarily a bad thing) the hands start to shake, the breathing becomes shallow. Just because you have these signs and symptoms of nervousness, doesn't mean that you can't give a great speech or talk. The easiest way to get used to being nervous is to prepare yourself. Perform the speech in front of a friend. Get someone to record you with their phone. You'll feel the nerves, but you'll push on anyway and give a great speech.


2. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.

Everything that you write in your speech should be aimed at making your audience think, feel and do something. Every word, every part of your message should be crafted for your audience.


3. 30 Seconds to LIVE.

You have about 30 seconds to keep their attention. You have to start strong. You need to grab attention. Choose a powerful way to start. Don't be too general, too vague, or start summarising. You need to grab attention with a story, a joke - something that connects to the topic and the audience together.


4. Gauge their Reaction.

Pay attention to your audience, they are giving you constant 'feedback'. Are they laughing or smiling? Are they bored, angry or do they look like they don't care? By making a connection with your audience, you'll know how to adapt your speech, style, energy and pace to keep them with you.


5. Let You Come Through.

They don't want to see some fake formal version of you. You will create true credibility by allowing your real self to be present on stage or screen with you. The real you, the authentic you - that's the best person to do your speech.


6. Don’t Read Unless You Have to. Work from an Outline.

Don't read from your notes. It will be just awful. Exceptional public speakers work from an outline and then improvise spontaneously as you speak. It doesn't mean you will just make it up as you go along. Far from it, you will spend a lot of time preparing the perfect outline that will allow you to be yourself and speak spontaneously but still make all the points you want to make.


7. Grab Attention at the Beginning, and Close with a Dynamic End.

The great speeches, they don't begin with 'Good Morning, today I'd like to talk to you about..." Grab attention at the beginning. And when you finish, do the same, leave an impact on them, say something that will send home still thinking about your message.


I love public speaking, but not everyone does...


So I offer public speaking coaching for people who need to boost their public speaking skills.


Best Wishes


MARK WESTBROOK

Public Speaking Coach Scotland


PS - Want to find out WHY we get NERVOUS when we are public speaking - Check out this article on The Reasons for Anxiety in Public Speaking. or perhaps you want to learn about how public speaking triggers your fight or flight response?