How to become a better public speaker

Written by Alex Harris

microphone

Public speaking may be a piece of cake for some, but for others – particularly introverts – it can be a terrifying prospect. After all, eloquence is not always innate. However, as a business owner, or as somebody who has to deal with clients or customers, you have to be able to speak your mind and do it properly. This is especially helpful when you are closing deals or trying to charm potential customers into buying your products, or when you are trying to convince clients that the services you offer are groundbreaking.

It isn’t for everyone, sure, but there are ways to overcome your fear of speaking up and speaking out. Here are some tips that can help you be a more confident speaker:

Write it down. No, you do not have to write down your entire speech and then memorize it. It works for some, but it comes off as too rehearsed, which sometimes takes away a lot of sincerity. What you can do is write down some salient points and then some lines to support it. It helps organize your thoughts so you will be able to say what you need to say. It is a good idea to go through this outline a few hours before you are due to speak.

Do speech exercises. No matter how good your message is, if your audience cannot understand it, then it is useless. Most of the time, when people are nervous, they tend to stutter, or they end up mumbling. Doing speech exercises is a good way to prevent this. You can practice by doing tongue twisters, or by practicing the sounds you are having the most problems with. For example, if you have problems pronouncing the letter r, then it is a good idea to practice saying words with that letter.

Take your time. Do not rush your speech. People have been waiting to hear from you. They are interested in what you have to say. So slow down, calm down, and start talking to them. Enunciate every single word properly. Pause when necessary. You have a great message – make sure that your audience gets to hear and understand it.

How about you? How do you overcome your fear of public speaking?

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