Michael, a young and hardworking professional, has his presentation ready to go. He’s dressed for the day, with nicely polished shoes and his proposal in hand.He goes into the conference room, and sees a group of professionals gazing at him. As he passes the room, he begins to get nervous and forgets what he wants to say. Every thought and reflection blurs and he is left dumbstruck. Well, this could happen to anyone.
Public speaking is an art, which is mastered through practice and of course from expert help. It is an important skill that some of us love and others do not. The reality is that everyone needs to know how to speak in front of an audience (no matter how small or large). Here are just a few reasons as to why public speaking is essential:
- Whenever you speak in public,your confidence grows.
- The more comfortable you are are while addressing in public, the more comfortable you become around people and their interactions.
- Public speaking reaches the masses in a shorter time than talking to individuals
- It is one of the best ways to demonstrate knowledge of a particular topic
- With the right words and presentation, you can inspire and grow a fan base!
If these reasons do not convince you to go forward, remember that effective public speaking skills grab the attention of employers.
So, how can we help Michael or rather how should Michael help himself, to climb the corporate ladder and transcend his professional life?
- Pause and breathe before going onstage: It is good to pause and breathe now and then, but before going on stage, one should pause for a moment and take some deep breaths. This allows you to calm down your nerves. When you get nervous, it is not just your heartbeat that quickens, but also you tend to speak quickly. So just take a quiet moment, close your eyes to feel your breath in and out, and then move ahead.
- Practice, practice, practice: If you are a professional speaker or an orator, then going on stage is easy. If you are new to this art, then you should always prepare your speech or the subject of talking, beforehand. When practicing, record your voice or ask someone to record a video for you. This helps you to understand your speech timing, your body posture and the level of confidence on your face. Practice helps you build determination in yourself.
- Ensure eye contact with your audience: Make conversations with your audience. Make eye contact with your audience when speaking sentences, switch to others to continue to connect with individuals until you are done talking. Like this, your audience would feel that you are not speaking to them, but you are speaking along with them. There’s a difference in that.
- Say Thank-you when it is over: Time is precious. You should always close your presentation with these two simple yet powerful words: ‘Thank you’.
These are some basics to start with; remember connectivity is important; you should connect to your audiences. Even if you are not sure about your public speaking skills, then here is a perfect video to get you started: