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10 Ways You Can Improve Your Public Speaking Skills Instantly

Even if public speaking is second nature to you, there are always a few things you can do to improve your game. Just as in every other career or job, things change, and you have to stay on top of industry trends to stay relevant in your field. Read trade magazines, attend seminars, and keep up with what others in your field are doing so you will always be a step ahead. All too often, strong public speakers lose their edge when they stop pursuing advances in the industry. They stagnate in the same speech year after year. A few tweaks are all that is needed to get back on your game. Weaker public speakers are always surprised to find the few simple tasks required to take their game to the next level.

Be Prepared

The more prepared you are, the more familiar with and confident you are. Write it down. Write every word you plan to say, even if you won’t carry it out on stage. Write it all down and give the speech aloud several times. Do it alone and also with a small audience. You’ll hear all the kinks and be able to iron out all the rough spots before the big day.

Body Language Counts

Body language can make or break a career in public speaking. Most classes teach you to restrain body language while delivering your speech. Any extraneous movements distract from what you are saying. If you make movements, especially big movements, they have to coincide with your words. If you have some humor in your speech, large movements and crazy body language is helpful and expected.

If your topic is highly technical or on a serious medical subject, your body language should purvey a sense of scholarly confidence. It helps to check out a variety of books and articles on the subject of body language and public speaking.

Go Easy on the Visual Aids

Studies have shown that using fewer visual aids keeps your audience more in tune with what you are saying. The study showed how brain waves connect between speaker and audience during active listening. This action boosts comprehension and interest. Too many visual aides break the bond of brain waves and you start to lose your audience.

Talk it Out

Public speaking can almost paralyze some people. Therapists often suggest facing your fears by talking them out, alone or with a trusted companion. Use your scariest nightmare and state the absolute worst thing that could happen during the speech. What would the realistic outcome be if it did happen? It is easier to face your fears when you already thought out all possible outcomes and know how to deal with them. Imagining the worst, which most probably won’t happen, is just another tactic to prepare yourself for the stage.

You are Wanted. Act Like it

You were asked to give a speech because you have valuable information that people want to hear. Someone thought your words were important enough to ask you to present it to their group. You should not feel nervous or scared. You should feel proud, powerful, and appreciated. Take a deep breath and give the people what they came to hear.

Inner Dialogue Can Be a Killer

That little voice in your head can be a real drag. In fact, it is most of the time. That is its job. It wants to constantly try you. Tell you how wrong you look, dress, talk, and perform. Listening to this critiquing inner voice can get you a bad case of stage fright, anxiety, or even a panic attack. Block out as much of the negativity as you can and just keep telling yourself you will be fine. How bad could it be?

See it to Achieve it

Visualization tactics have become more useful than we previously thought. People have touted the benefits of visualizing what you want since the ancient civilizations ruled. In later years it seemed more of a new age, hippy-dippy, concept that you never saw in the business world. Business motivational employees talk about it all the time. You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t have any idea of where it is. If you want success, you have to visualize your projects successfully and then attack them in the mindset.

Brief and Factual Works Best

Studies and polls all point to shorter speeches being better able to make their point and leave their audience with a memory. While it may seem that the opposite would be true, after approximately 20 minutes people begin to lose interest in even the most entertaining of performances. The most successful speakers and performers break up large amounts of information into manageable blocks with breaks in between.

Be Genuine

Introverted or party-animal. It doesn’t matter. Delivering your speech in your own voice with your own personality is extremely important. If the speaker isn’t authentic, the audience can’t connect with him. They spend the whole time trying to figure out what’s off. Throwing your own quirks and speech cadence into the mix lets people know you are just like them and their guard is let down. They are less judgmental.

Don’t be Dramatic

When you do make a mistake, don’t fall out control. It’s OK. Its no big deal at all. If you don’t overreact to it, neither will your audience. If you flub up a couple of words just say let’s try that one more time and carry on. Doing so imparts an air of confidence, even if you don’t feel it.

Everyone needs a little help in public speaking from time to time. It can be daunting and even make you feel sick. Using these 10 easy hacks are surprisingly effective, whether you are an experienced speaker or about to give your first speech. There are many other simple ways to boost your public speaking confidence. Research a few options to see what is right for you. Seek out your problem areas and see what small fixes could have a big effect on your work. It’s a game changer.

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