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7 Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker

Avyukth is a college student who has been pursuing stand up comedy for the past 3 years He also loves comedy screenwriting.

Introduction

The greatest leaders on the face of our planet have also been some of the greatest orators. Regardless of whether it's a small organization, a certain society or even the world at large, nobody can bring about a change all by themselves. Therefore, it is essential to have the ability to effectively communicate your message to large groups of people.

The power of speech is a gift to mankind. Here are 7 ways to effectively leverage this special gift to influence the people around us.

ways-to-become-a-better-public-speaker

Confidence

Studies have shown that the fear of death ranks second among people. Not surprisingly, fear of public speaking takes the first place. Many people dread the very thought of speaking in front of groups of people. Overcoming this fear is the first step to becoming a public speaker.

People always advise you to be confident but no one ever tells you how to do it. Don't worry, I'll break it down for you. If I were to ask you how confident you are about tying your shoelaces, you would say 100%. Initially, as a child, you might have struggled, but doing it repeatedly has made you confident. Similarly, the only way to become a more confident speaker is to do it over and over again. You might struggle in the beginning but as you start making progress, your confidence will automatically increase.

Content

Figuring out what the audience wants to hear plays a crucial role in formulating the content. If the content cannot be changed, then it should be delivered in a suitable way. For example, an audience composed of students would like to hear stories and anecdotes. A group of professionals might prefer facts. Understanding the audience and planning the content accordingly helps in keeping them interested throughout the presentation.

Structure

A well structured speech provides clarity of thought. Ideally, the structure of a speech must include an introduction, body and conclusion with supporting stories and examples. If there are more than two topics to be covered, it is important to decide the order of topics. One can also incorporate segways or connecting links into the structure. This facilitates a smooth transition from one subject to another. Therefore, organizing one's thoughts and giving a proper structure to the speech helps in delivering it effectively.

Body language

Mannerisms, facial expressions and the way you carry yourself makes a loud statement long before you speak your first words. It is important to use gestures while speaking because they serve as visual cues. Dressing well can also help in creating a good impression. The spectators might not notice all these factors consciously but at a subconscious level they pick up these subtle clues. It defines whether or not you can capture the attention of the audience. It also determines whether you can keep them engaged for extended periods of time.

ways-to-become-a-better-public-speaker

Connect

As a public speaker, it is extremely important to establish a connection with the audience. Two powerful ways of building a connect are -

Interaction

Casually interacting with the audience, asking questions and taking suggestions encourages participation from the spectators. This makes them feel more involved in the experience.

Eye contact

Never read a script while delivering a speech.. Looking at the script makes the audience feel disconnected. A good eye contact makes people feel like you are personally speaking to them and hence they are more attentive. You could probably use cue cards if you need pointers.

Voice modulation and tonality

This is one of the most important aspects of speaking. Having a well modulated voice makes sure that the audience is entertained. A monotonous tone can cause boredom to the listeners. It is also important to use different tones based on the content that you're delivering.For example, your voice must be filled with energy while trying to motivate people. But it must be soft while narrating a sad incident.

Pause

One of the most overlooked aspects of voice modulation is the use of pauses. It is essential that it should neither be too long nor too short. Pausing before making an important statement helps in building suspense. A pause after a statement , gives time for the information to sink in. So a pause is an immensely powerful tool if used at the right places. It can make the speech a lot more effective.

ways-to-become-a-better-public-speaker

Practice

Knowledge without practice is meaningless. Like most things in life, the only way to get better at public speaking is through practice.

Ways to practice

Sign up with organizations like the toastmasters where you will receive opportunities to constantly improve and showcase your public speaking skills. If you don't find an audience, practice in front of a mirror or record a video of yourself . This will help you understand how you look and sound while delivering a speech. It also gives you an opportunity to identify and work on your weaknesses.

Conclusion

We have seen a galaxy of great orators who have brought about significant changes in the world. Swami Vivekananda's famous speech at Chicago, was instrumental in popularizing Indian culture in the Western world. "I have a dream", a historic speech by Martin Luther King about racial equality is immensely famous to this day. I’d like to conclude by saying that, the power of speech is limitless. I hope that you harness this limitless power to make a positive impact on the world.

© 2020 Avyukth Krishna

Comments

Avyukth Krishna (author) from Bangalore on July 04, 2020:

Thank you so much Tejus !

I am glad you found it useful.

Tejus on June 27, 2020:

Impressed!

Btw it was useful

Avyukth Krishna (author) from Bangalore on June 21, 2020:

Hello Suchi ma'am,

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I shall definitely keep writing.

Avyukth Krishna (author) from Bangalore on June 21, 2020:

Hi Sowrabha ma'am,

Rightly said. All of us are good at one-to-one conversations because they are essential for survival. But to make an impact on people's life, it is essential to have the ability to effectively communicate your message to large groups of people.

Thank you !!

Avyukth Krishna (author) from Bangalore on June 20, 2020:

Hello Sneha ma'am,

I am glad that you found this article useful. The use of pauses is my favourite too. It is something that we never notice. But once we understand it, we start noticing how many good public speakers use it. Thank you for reading !

Suchismita Pradhan from India on June 16, 2020:

Very well illustrated article Mr. Avyukth. You have certainly spoken of all those important components essential to face the public. Keep writing and enlightening your readers with various tips and tricks to success.

sowspeaks from Bengaluru on June 16, 2020:

Hi Krishna, this was definitely a good article on a topical topic. You added your own flavor and made it interesting. Great leaders are created by your power of speech. That is so true. Examples to validate abound across all times and ages. Though we are comfortable in one-to-one conversations, still speaking in front of an audience brings out our worst demons. Thanks for your useful pointers. Well presented!!!!

Sneha Bhat from India on June 15, 2020:

Well written article Mr. Avyukth. You have clearly mentioned all those important factors necessary to face the public. The most interesting factor I liked in this is about 'Pause'. Pause is a silent key for success. An orator should have the knowledge of how and where to give a pause. Keep posting such interesting articles

Avyukth Krishna (author) from Bangalore on June 15, 2020:

Thank you so much Nikhil !

Confidence is something that is built over time. I remember the first time I spoke on stage. I was shivering and sweating profusely. But now, I look forward to public speaking. This is because I have stopped fearing it and started enjoying it. I am glad you found this useful.

Nikhil Sharma from India on June 15, 2020:

No one can become a good leader in the absence of public speaking skills. Another detailed and engaging article from you, Avyukth. Being a public speaker yourself, you've very well iterated all the necessary points in an easy manner.

When it comes to delivering a speech or speaking in the public, everyone says that you must have confidence, but no one tells how to build your confidence. I'm sure with this informative article, people will draw out motivation to work on their public speaking skills. It was a lovely read, Avyukth.

Avyukth Krishna (author) from Bangalore on June 14, 2020:

Thank you so much sir. I'm glad you found it useful

SHREEKRISHNA SHARMA HALEMANE from MANGALORE on June 13, 2020:

Well analyzed the need, drawbacks, and the way to get ready for public speaking. Thank you Avyukth Krishna for your article.

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