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10 Ways to Improve Public Speaking Skills (2021)

Most people are terrified when it comes to public speaking, and we understand why if you are one of them. But below we have 10 great ways on how to improve your speaking skills in public and calm your nerves in order to deliver empowering orations.

Everyone has a fear of something, whether it is an insect or flying with an airplane, but when you have a fear of public speaking, things get a bit more serious. It is actually one of the most common and greatest fears people have.

But do not worry, we have some really good tips for you, which will help you overcome this fear and allow you to perform efficiently when delivering speeches. Our 10 tips will help you reduce anxiety, dispel myths, stress, and improve your performance.


Being Nervous is Okay

If someone tells you they do not feel nervous or have any physiological reactions like pounding hearts or trembling hands- they are lying.

It is not wrong to be nervous! The key is to remain calm and even if you have them, do not think that this will automatically make you perform poorly or you will embarrass yourself. These types of nerves are even good for you- the adrenaline rush makes you more alert, allowing you to perform better.

Okay, being sweaty is not fun, but hey! Everyone sweats, it is a human phenomenon. Wear a blazer on top, which will hide your sweat marks, or keep a handkerchief to wipe your face.

Our best tip to help you overcome anxiety is preparation! Preparing for a speech is the ultimate major key alert. If you have gone over your speech several times, and you have even performed it in front of family or friends, or even colleagues it will be way easier for you to speak on stage.

Understand the material you have to present really well and get comfortable with it, but this will only come with practice. If you do not have time to perform it in front of someone, you can always record a video of yourself and watch it later, or send it to someone for critiques. The more time you put into preparing for your public speaking event, the better!


Audience

It is very important to know your audience- your speech is for them, not you. When preparing for your speech from the very start, you have to keep in mind who your message is intended for.

The more you know about them the better! By knowing your audience you can prepare your choice of words better- if it is a younger audience try to use more trending topics and jargon; the level of information you need to provide; your organization pattern; the motivational statement, which you have to offer. Your audience formulates everything.


Organization is Key

You need to organize your presentation in the most effective way in order to attain a purpose. Your speech has to have a framework. Start off by writing down your topic.

The general purpose of your presentation, the actual specific purpose, your main and central idea and points. Just like with the elevator pitch, you have to grab your audience right away- if they are not intrigued in the first 30 seconds, then there is no chance they will continue to follow through.


Feedback

It is important to analyze the feedback you get and adapt to it. This way you will keep your focus on the audience by following their reactions. You need to adjust your messages and always be flexible in order to appeal to your audience.

Avoid delivering conservative and boring speeches, as it will guarantee the loss of attention and confuse devoted listeners.


Personality

You definitely want your personality to be coming through and engaging with the audience on a personal level.

Do not simply talk for the sake of it, be yourself! Regardless of what communication method you use. By shining through with your personality, the audience will trust you a lot more as they can see your real self and it builds credibility. It may sound cliche but never be a copy of someone, always be original and people will appreciate you more.


Personal Touch

When you use your humor and you tell stories using effective language, you completely change the atmosphere in the room and the audience will enjoy your speech a lot more.

Adding a joke and making people laugh, really decreases the tension in the room and it will also make you feel more comfortable. Trust us, it is 100 times better to be in a room where people are laughing and smiling than being surrounded by an audience who are tense or even bored.

Just like every person, your audience will love an element of personal touch in your speech. Be different from mainstream public speakers and add a spark of joy in your presentation. If you are not sure how to include a funny joke or something to make people smile, tell a story! Personal experiences are always a great idea.


Learn Your Speech

Reading your speech from a paper or screen should be the absolute last option you have when doing public speaking. The best trick to avoid reading is working from an outline. When you have a script in front of you or you are reading from slides, it really breaks the interpersonal connection.

Your goal is to connect with the audience, not read lines in front of them. There is no better way to connect with your audience than maintaining eye contact, and by reading a script you cannot do that.

Always remember, you have to keep the focus on your key message and yourself of course. Refresh your mind by having an outline in front of you, which is brief and will serve the purpose in case you forget your thought process.


Gestures and Voice

Always focus on how you use your voice and hands by watching videos of yourself when you practice or ask friends for feedback as it is important to use them effectively. We love giving keys if you have not noticed in this blog and another one is omitting nervous gestures!

The nonverbal communication you project is really what carries most of your messages. You do not want to call too much attention to yourself if you want to deliver your message well.

Aim to convey your ideas clearly, without distracting your audience with a loud voice or annoying hand gestures. Be calm and be a smooth criminal when delivering that incredible speech.


Beginning and Ending

You want to grab attention at the start and have a dynamic ending. No one wants to hear a dull introduction of a speech, so always start with a startling statistic or intriguing anecdote, even an interesting quote.

When doing public speaking you want to end your speech with a conclusion or summary and add a strong statement at the end, which the entire audience will remember. You want to be impactful, always remember that!


Audiovisual Aids

You want to use audiovisuals wisely, as having too many can break the connection with the audience, which you have. They should contribute and clarify your content by capturing and maintaining the attention of the audience.


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Written by Nikola Knezhevich

Ex-lawyer & ex-legal advisor. Former startup CMO. Currently an entrepreneur & digital marketing enthusiast. I have been doing digital marketing since 2014, primarily lead generation, client acquisition & business strategy. Joined "Ad Specto" to share all my digital knowledge and wisdom with you.
Co-Founder @AdSpecto, Founder @AdUp, Founder @LawAcademy

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