Three secrets to improving public speaking skills
Are you one of those people who panics about presenting a pitch or proposal at work to a team or dreads speaking in public?
If so, you are not alone. Fear of public speaking affects 75% of people.
Here are the three secrets that have helped me raise my confidence and communicate more effectively, so when I wrap I feel good about myself and proud of the way I have imparted my knowledge on the subject.
1. Practice, plan, prepare
Find a friend who you trust feel comfortable with and practise on Skype. Ask her/him to time you and give constructive feedback. Then stand in front of your mirror at home and check out your posture, your habits. You may twiddle with your hair and not be aware, or you may wave your arms about constantly without realising it. Record your voice so you can slow down the words or speed them up. It's vital to have this awareness so you can improve yourself wherever you feel you need to. The more you take inventory and practise, the more at ease you will feel when speaking and the better you will perform.
2. Bring humour into your talk or presentation
This works every time. People feel more at ease when they realise you are approachable, engaging and warm. They will relax and be more receptive to you. When you see people smiling it will create a connection and a level of rapport and trust. When the energy in the room is light and uplifting and everyone is chilled, any nerves you may have had to begin with will disappear.
3. Let go of your ego
As a speaker, you are there to impart knowledge, wisdom, expertise - that's it. Get over yourself. It isn't about the outfit you are wearing or if you have a posh accent or a degree, it's not about gaining approval. It's all about; 'How can I be of service? How can I add value to these people through what I am saying. Send your ego off on a world trip before you enter the room. Leave it at the door. If you make a mistake, so what? Some of the top speakers on TED make mistakes, it happens. Just be self effacing and own it and move on.
Make it happen - why? It's your time to shine.
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