Public Speaking is one of those subjects that most people have heard a lot about and know very little about. Public speaking is often misinterpreted to mean standing up in front of a large group of people and delivering a speech. But that’s not the only way of definition. In fact public speaking is used in all walks of life and is almost always accompanied with some kind of music. Public speaking was once confined mainly to the highly educated. Today public speaking is used by people of all ages from all walks of life, including the Queen.
Public Speaking can be learnt. A lot of people use some kind of help to improve their communication skills. A few of the more common self-help techniques are: reading written material, mnemonics, exercises to help improve memory, developing positive thinking and positive communication skills, listening to audio recordings, planning ahead and practising. These techniques can all help to improve your public speaking skills.
There are three main areas of public speaking that you must pay attention to if you want to improve your public speaking skills: communication skills, listening skills and presence. If you want to communicate you must first develop good communication skills. Nothing says ‘trustworthy’ better than an insecure and nervous speech which you haven’t prepared properly. On the other hand, if you want to hear what you’re saying you must make sure you understand it well and have strong hearing and speaking skills. The same goes if you want to participate in an interview.
Another key to effective public speaking is presence. If you don’t ‘feel’ the audience or they are not ‘feeling’ your words you will never have a good, full-hearted speech. This is why many comedians depend on stage fright to keep under control and what better way to learn it than to stand up and speak to an audience full of people!
Finally, if you want to do well in an informative public speaking course you must prepare your speech carefully. There are three different methods to do this. You can prepare a speech using paper and pen, by typing it out and then looking up words and phrases while watching TV or listening to CDs. Or you can prepare to give a speech using a voice recorder.
In the end, though, it’s just a matter of practice. Practise makes perfect and the more you practise public speaking the more confident you will become, the more persuasive speeches you will be able to give and the more persuasive you will be. It takes dedication, but it doesn’t require a PhD to learn it either. So get out there and practice your persuasive and informative speech, it’s really that simple!