Industry proven skills for improving your public speaking with example from industry experts
Public speaking is a crucial skill in today’s business world. Whether you’re presenting in front of a large audience, giving a pitch to potential investors, or simply leading a team meeting, the ability to communicate effectively can make or break your success. In this blog, we’ll explore some industry-proven skills for improving your public speaking, with examples from industry experts.
Practice, practice, practice:
The key to improving your public speaking skills is practice. According to Lisa B. Marshall, a communication expert and author of “Smart Talk,” “The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will feel.” Marshall recommends rehearsing your presentation in front of a mirror or recording yourself to identify areas for improvement.
Know your audience:
Another important skill for effective public speaking is understanding your audience. As Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why” and renowned speaker, advises, “It’s not about you, it’s about them.” Sinek stresses the importance of understanding your audience’s needs and interests, tailoring your message accordingly, and engaging them through storytelling.
Use visual aids:
Visual aids, such as slides, videos, or infographics, can help enhance your message and keep your audience engaged. However, as Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design and author of “Slide:ology,” notes, “Visual aids are not the presentation, they support the presentation.” Duarte recommends using visual aids sparingly and strategically, ensuring they enhance rather than distract from your message.
Speak with confidence:
Confidence is key to effective public speaking. As Carmine Gallo, author of “Talk Like TED” and communication coach, advises, “Confidence is not something you have, it’s something you earn.” Gallo recommends preparing thoroughly, practicing your delivery, and reminding yourself of your expertise and passion for the topic.
Use body language effectively:
Body language can be a powerful tool for communicating your message and engaging your audience. According to Vanessa Van Edwards, founder of Science of People and author of “Captivate,” “Your body language can be more powerful than your words.” Van Edwards recommends using open body language, such as standing tall with arms uncrossed, to convey confidence and credibility.
Storytelling is a powerful technique for engaging your audience and conveying your message. As Andrew Stanton, filmmaker and TED speaker, notes, “The greatest story commandment is: make me care.” Stanton recommends starting with a compelling opening, using vivid and specific details, and connecting emotionally with your audience.
Engage your audience:
Engaging your audience is crucial for effective public speaking. As Scott Berkun, author of “Confessions of a Public Speaker,” advises, “The audience is the other half of the conversation.” Berkun recommends involving your audience through interactive techniques, such as asking questions, using humor, or encouraging participation.
Authenticity is key to building credibility and connecting with your audience. As Brené Brown, author and speaker, notes, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” Brown recommends being vulnerable, honest, and true to yourself when speaking in public.
Nervousness is a common experience for public speakers, but it can also be managed effectively. As Dan Harris, ABC News correspondent and author of “10% Happier,” advises, “Nervousness is not a problem; it’s a fact.” Harris recommends using mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and visualization, to manage nerves and focus on the present moment.
Learn from feedback:
Finally, learning from feedback is crucial for improving your public speaking skills. As Garr Reynolds, author of “Presentation Zen,” advises, “The most important part of presentation design is not the design, but the thinking and the reflection that comes before the design.” Reynolds recommends seeking feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors, and using that feedback to reflect on your strengths and areas for improvement.
In conclusion, public speaking is an essential skill for success in today’s business world, and there are proven techniques for improving your effectiveness as a speaker. Whether it’s practicing your delivery, tailoring your message to your audience, using visual aids strategically, or engaging your audience through storytelling and interaction, the skills outlined above can help you become a more confident, compelling, and authentic speaker. By incorporating these techniques into your speaking practice and seeking feedback on your performance, you can continue to refine your skills and achieve greater success in your personal and professional endeavors.