It is not everyone who can speak in public. Actually, most people find it every difficult to speak within a group, leave alone a whole congregation. However, public speaking skills can be developed, and just anyone can speak perfectly in public, regardless of the number of people in an audience.
Some of the essential skills in public speaking are as follows:
• Having a good stage presence. Good public speakers appear confident on stage and will not be found standing in the same position for a long time. Walking around and facing the audience from different angles can help you to have proper stage presence. You could also try using different things to demonstrate and emphasize points.
• Choice of topic. You will have more confidence to speak in public if you choose an interesting topic. You must also research well on the topic and find points that could interest the audience.
• Voice control. Your voice is the most vital part of public speaking. You should have quality voice that makes your audience want to listen more. You can try breathing exercises to help you get relief from anxiety. You can also take a few glasses of water with a slice of lemon just before you deliver your speech. More so, practice on voice projection, yet being careful not to shout or over stress your vocal cords.
• Body language. Body language speaks louder than the speech you deliver to the audience. You must practice on how to stand upright, and placing your hands at your sides or clasped in front. Only use your hands to make an emphasis on a point. Further, your facial expressions should match with the information that you are trying to imply. Most times, a smile can relief you and the audience off the tension and anxiety in a speech session.
• Deliver the message in a perfect way. You should be slow when reading the speech, pause at various points and pronounce words in an excellent way. You must vary your tone and volume to make your speech more interesting. Lastly, avoid reading the whole speech without having eye contact with the audience- always be seen to be engaged with an audience. For instance, you should pause when they laugh and continue soon afterwards.
• Remain focused in message delivery. It is easy to get confused or excited as the congregation reacts to different points. A laugh or applause can make you anxious or make you change your posture. Remain focused in delivering the whole time you are on stage.
• Do enough preparation. You must not appear before the audience when your materials are in every place. The microphones, written speech and anything else should be set up even before the audience shows up. Note that if you start confused, you are likely to end up in the same note or forgetting some points. Further, choose your words wisely. You can have someone else go through your speech before delivering it.
• You should also dress in a way that people will be impressed. This off course will depend on the audience and the occasion.
• Relax. Everyone makes a mistake and you do not have to be so much focused on being perfect. After all, even the greatest public speakers have made mistakes. However, you must seek to learn from your mistakes and improve with time.
Public speaking skills should be developed by every individual. They help you to be confident amongst your peers and seize great opportunities in organizations. They also challenge you to become a better person who can offer solution to life’s problems. Taking time to learn them is the best thing that anyone can do.
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